Indian-Style Mustard Greens

This is an earthy dish using mustard greens and is typically made in the north of India during winter when there is an abundance of the crop. Mustard is also thought to warm the body, and tons of street-side cafes near New Delhi serve this scrumptious gravy with buttered naan when temperatures dip. 

The recipe appears complicated, but comes together quickly once you organize yourself. You can find garam masala in natural food stores or Indian stores. If you must, substitute naan for store-brought pita.

recipe contributed by Rajee Suri

Mustard greens


  • 2 bunches of mustard greens, chopped and washed
  • Equal amount of chopped spinach, frozen is fine
  • 1    tbsp grated ginger
  • 1    green chili, chopped
  • 1    tbsp minced garlic 
  • Salt to taste
  • 4  tbsp fine corn meal
  • 1/3 cup water



Onion masala

  • 1     red onion, finely diced
  • 1     tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2  tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1/2  cup tomato puree
  • 1.5  tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2  tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4  tsp cayenne, use less or more per heat tolerance
  • 2     tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 1/4  tsp garam masala powder


Red chili seasoning


  • 2    tbsp butter or preferably, ghee
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes or 1 or 2 dried red Thai chilis, depending on your heat tolerance




Place the mustard and spinach in a large heavy-bottomed dutch oven or pot with the ginger, garlic and green chillies.Add salt to taste and 1.5 cups of water. Cook on a medium flame for about 5 minutes, then cover and simmer on low for another 15 minutes, until completely mushy. 


While the greens cook, mix the corn meal with 1/3c of water and keep aside.Once the greens are cooked, add the corn meal slurry and cook on low for another 10 minutes until the greens have thickened slightly. You can also add water it it's too thick. Take care to keep stirring to avoid lumps. 


In a saute pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil for the onion masala. Add the diced onions and garlic and saute on medium heat. Add salt to taste and cook until the onions are golden brown and devoid of moisture. Add all the spice powders except the garam masala and saute for about 30 seconds. Then, add the tomato puree and cook the onion mixture for about 6-10 minutes until the mixture is completely dry. Lower the heat to low, add the ginger and garam masala and cook for about 2-3 minutes. 


Empty the onion masala into the greens mixture and mix. In the same saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter or ghee (preferable) on low. Add dried red chili flakes or dry red chili(s) and warm for about 30 seconds to a minute. Don't let it burn. Pour this into the greens and onion gravy. Taste for salt and chili. Adjust as needed.


Serve with naan.