Updated: Apr 26, 2021
Another beautiful recipe cooked with kale that is not commonly used in Indian cuisine. I was given a large bunch of kale and was looking for an intriguing recipe to make and came across this one in my collection of cookbooks. I have used kale most commonly in salads, Italian stir-fry sides and occasionally in stews, and was quite excited to try this green with Indian flavors.
This recipe is cooked similar to a traditional korma, and this curry delivers in terms of the complexity of flavors. The slightly bitter kale pairs well with the soft creamy potatoes and the mix of spices add a wonderful pop of flavor in the mild yogurt sauce. You can also substitute chard for kale as a variation of this recipe. This is another one of my favorite chefs, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. I love his cookbooks, they have wonderful flavors from around the world and the recipes are usually super simple and super good. This vegetarian cookbook in particular is always on my kitchen for reference or to peruse. It is not a wonder I do not cook from it everyday!
For more delicious dished from this cookbook, click here.
About 1 lb Swiss chard, kale or spinach
2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, halved and finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garam masala
1⁄2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄4 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 cardamom pods, bashed
1/4 lb new potatoes, peeled, quartered or cut into small bite sized pieces
1 cup plain (full-fat) yoghurt
11⁄2 tablespoons tomato purée
A small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
A small handful of almonds, cashews or pistachios, toasted and chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Separate the chard leaves from the stalks. Cut the stalks into 2–3cm pieces and roughly chop the leaves.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and fry until just golden.
Meanwhile, pound the garlic, chilli and ginger together with a pinch of salt to a paste. If you are using pastes and powders you can ignore this step. Add to the onion and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Tip in the rest of the spices and stir for a minute or two.
Add the potatoes and chopped chard stalks and fry, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, so that they are well coated with the spice mixture. Pour in about 400ml water – enough to just cover the veg. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 10–12 minutes until the potatoes are just tender. Add the chard leaves, stir and cook until just wilted.
In a bowl, whisk together the yoghurt, tomato purée and some of the hot liquid from the curry. Remove the curry from the heat, stir in the yoghurt mixture, return to the heat and warm through very gently (if it gets too hot, the yoghurt will curdle). Stir in most of the coriander.
Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Scatter over the toasted nuts and remaining coriander, then serve with rice and naan or chapattis.
Spinach and new potato curry
Use 600–700g spinach in place of the chard. Remove any tough stalks and add the leaves to the curry once the potatoes are done. Cook for a minute or two before adding the yoghurt mixture.
Winter kale and potato curry
Use maincrop potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks, rather than new potatoes, and replace the chard with kale. Discard the kale stalks, roughly shred the leaves, and add them when the potatoes are nearly done. Simmer for 2–3 minutes, or until tender.