Chickpeas with Yogurt and Fresh Mustard Greens

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
mustard greens with chickpeas

I do believe this is the first time I have cooked with or even tasted fresh mustard greens, and what a great culinary experience it turned out to be combined with chickpeas, spices and yogurt in this creamy curry. I was struck by the robust and piquant mustard taste of the greens, having to sample some raw before I put them in the dish of course. Somewhat bitter, they do add an underlying zesty flavor to this chickpea curry that is now a favorite in my kitchen. Mustard greens can often be found at an Asian or Indian grocer, and maybe even at your run-of-the-mill grocery store if you are lucky.

If you can't find mustard greens, a suitable substitute is kale, spinach or collard greens, though I am sure nothing can quite match the unique aroma and vibrant flavor that mustard greens add to your dishes and salads. Add some mustard powder to this creation if you have to miss out on the opportunity to enjoy mustard greens.

I have adapted this recipe from Raghavan Iyer's most excellent book, 660 Curries. If you want creative Indian dishes that can be made with ease and packed full of unique Indian flavors, this is a must have book. Certainly a staple in my household, it should be on your bookshelf too if you enjoy treasured Indian combinations. I've written about this book numerous times and. as noted in prior posts, it is not strictly vegetarian but with this many recipes, vegans and vegetarians, novice and experienced cooks alike with find much inspiration within the covers. If you do enjoy meat and seafood, you won't be disappointed either. A treasure chest indeed. Many traditional recipes and some innovative fusion-style dishes are presented to cooks.

This is a spicy dish, so as usual, my advice is to adjust the spices and number of chilies to suit your palate.

Note: If you are using fresh turmeric, take care. I thought beets were bad for staining nails, hands and surfaces, but goodness, my nails were yellow for days after chopping up just a small portion of this fresh root spice. Not quite as potent as ground turmeric, the fresh version rounds out your dishes with a complex flavor that spice lovers will appreciate.

Chickpeas with Yogurt and Fresh Mustard GreensChickpeas with Yogurt and Fresh Mustard Greens
Recipe by
Adapted from 660 Curries
Cuisine: Indian
Published on August 1, 2012

Creamy spiced chickpea and yogurt curry with fresh vibrant mustard greens

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 to 30 minutes

Print this recipePrint this recipe

  • 1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas (4 1/2 cups cooked or 3 14 oz cans)
  • 1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 to 6 red or green chilies or jalapeƱos, seeded and chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1- to 2-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or a mixture of butter and oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric or 1 1/2-inch piece fresh turmeric, peeled and finely grated or chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • generous handful of fresh or dried curry leaves
  • a few pinches of asafetida
  • 3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 lb (450 g) fresh mustard greens, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 cup plain whole fat yogurt
  • scant 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Rinse the chickpeas and soak for 8 hours or overnight in several inches of water. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a large saucepan and cover with several inches of fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the chickpeas are tender. Drain and set aside.

  • In a food processor or blender, pulse together the onions, chilies, garlic and ginger to form a thick paste.

  • Heat the ghee or butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, toss in the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and stir for 30 seconds to a minute or until the mustard seeds turn grey and begin to splutter and pop.

  • Add the onion-chili paste and stir and for 5 minutes or until the paste is lightly browned. Add the turmeric, coriander, cumin, garam masala, curry leaves and asafetida to the pan and stir for another minute. Next add the tomatoes and salt and simmer for a few minutes.

  • Now add the mustard greens, small handfuls at a time, stirring until they begin to wilt before adding the next handful. Repeat until the mustard greens are cooked.

  • Stir in the chickpeas and simmer until the sauce for 10 minutes or until the curry has thickened, stirring occasionally.

  • Meanwhile, whisk together the yogurt and cream and stir into the chickpeas. Simmer for another few minutes and serve hot.

Makes 5 to 6 servings

mustard greens with chickpeas and yogurt

More spicy chickpea dishes you are sure to enjoy from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Baked Paneer and Chickpea Cutlets
Chickpea Vindaloo
Tamarind Chickpeas
Chickpea Paneer Kofta in a Creamy Cashew Tomato Sauce


Indian Khana said...

Nice combo and looks yum

Carey said...

I just made this recipe a couple days ago and loved it (hard to go wrong with chickpeas, tomatoes and spices!). I used a combo of chard and kale because that's what we had, but I'd like to try it with mustard greens sometime. The next day I threw some of the leftovers into a quesadilla with cheese, it was surprisingly tasty!

Vanamala Hebbar said...

Nice dish

Unknown said...

Just made this and it turned out very well! Thanks for the recipe.