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Taste Magazine - Mustard Green Masala

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 Featured in Taste - Mar 2017
Masala means “mixture,” and this is one fine combination of ginger, garlic, onions, and a flurry of delicious and fragrant Indian spices (turmeric, coriander, garam masala). We call for mustard greens here, but you can substitute with other leafy greens, like kale or spinach.


  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 TSP cumin seeds
  • serrano pepper, diced (or two if you like it a bit spicy)
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 1 TSP kosher salt
  • 2 TBSP ginger-garlic paste*
  • 1 TSP red chili powder
  • 1 TSP turmeric powder
  • 1 TSP cumin powder
  • 1 TSP coriander powder
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 TSP garam masala
  • 4 bunches mustard greens stems removed and roughly chopped


  1. In a wide-bottom pan, heat 1/4 cup of canola oil over medium-high heat. (You can use some of the frying oil). Add the cumin seeds and within 30 seconds or so add the diced serrano peppers, and then within a minute add the onions with the salt (the salt helps the onions cook quicker by drawing out the moisture.)
  2. When the onions start to lightly brown, add the ginger-garlic paste and cook on medium heat until the onions start turning completely brown.
  3. Add the powders (red chili, cumin, turmeric, coriander), and when they start to clump together with the onions, add half the cilantro and 1/4 cup of water to deglaze the pan. Stir and scrape to get all the fond (good stuff) off the bottom of the pan. The spices cook quickly, around 2-3 minutes.
  4. Once the water has sizzled and evaporated, add the crushed tomatoes. Cook on medium for 10 minutes or so until the tomatoes are completely broken down and the mixture looks glossy.
  5. Add the garam masala and stir well into the tomato mixture, and then add the mustard greens and a cup of water. Stir and fold the greens till they start to wither and cook down.
  6. Cook the greens on medium for 10 minutes or until the greens are dark and tender. Salt to taste, garnish with the rest of the fresh cilantro, and serve with rice, warm roti, or paratha.

*Blend equal amounts of peeled garlic and peeled fresh ginger (1/4 cup of each) into a smooth paste in a food processor - a teaspoon of oil will help it blend smoothly. Will keep refrigerated in a glass jar for at least a month. This stuff is gold - it makes a great base rub on chicken and meats). If you don’t have a food processor, finely mince a tablespoon of ginger and garlic and mix together.

Recipe from Meherwan Irani

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