I love food; I love all kinds of food – apart from cauliflower – but sometimes it is hard to get excited about eating your greens. I do like greens (broccoli, kale, peas, cabbage and many more) but usually I incorporate them into a meal or lightly steam them and serve them seasoned as a side dish.
But then I stumbled on this recipe for an Indian style vegetable side dish on the BBC Good Food magazine website and all this changed. This recipe really kicks greens into shape and makes them stand out in a crowd. It is delicious as a side dish for a curry instead of rice or bread.
The first time I made the recipe as it suggests, with Kale and peas, and served it with an Indian dish of chicken thighs in a creamy yogurt sauce instead of rice. It went so well against the thick creamy sauce and made a much lighter meal than serving it with rice and naan bread.
The second time I made it with some Swiss Chard I had in the fridge. Recently, after being inspired by the series What to Eat Now, with Valentine Warner, I have been trying to eat seasonal local food. I picked up a bag of colourful chard at a local shop that sells organic fruit and vegetable from a farm in North Somerset, despite never having cooked it before. The taste is quite bitter and although I enjoyed it I didn’t relish the thought of eating mountains of it steamed with lemon juice for a week. This recipe really transformed the chard and was delicious as a side dish to a creamy potato curry.
A few notes:
Go for slightly larger portions of the cumin, mustard seeds, ginger and chilli for a better flavour and punch. The lime juice and desiccated coconut are essential, they really lift and sweeten the dish.
Whatever vegetable you decide to use I would still add the peas, they give a lovely sweetness and bite to the dish.
For a healthy portion for two people I suggest a 200g bag of kale, or an equivalent vegetable.
Follow this link, which will take you to the recipe on the BBC Good Food website http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/5823/indian-spiced-greens