Coconut Curried Collard Greens

These curried collard greens are one of my favorite recipes from my Homestyle Vegetarian Cooking Course and I love ALL those recipes so it was a tough decision to make. I love the simplicity of preparation and the textural combination of thick, caramelized coconut milk, tender collard greens and nubby little chickpeas.

vegetarian cooking class

I came up with this one night to use up the last of a container of coconut milk. While I doubted the success of combining strong, meaty greens like collards with sweet coconut milk, the recipe turned out incredibly delicious and I’ve made it many times since. These curried collard greens are a great vegetarian main dish, with or without rice or another grain. They’d also compliment an Indian, Caribbean or Southeast Asian menu.

Don’t be afraid of the long cooking time. Often I enjoy these quick-cooked collard greens, but if you have patience and faith and let them cook 40 minutes or even longer, collard greens turn almost silky in texture but still retain their shape and a little bit of “bite”. Cooked down in the coconut milk with ginger and garlic they become downright luscious (for lack of a better, less pornographic-sounding word). Please try them. You’ll love them.

I’d like to say that this recipe serves four, but realistically it’s more like two because they are so delicious. The recipe can be doubled as long as you have a large enough pot or wok to cook them in. And if you do have a very large pot, you can add a diced potato with the greens if you want.

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Coconut Curried Collard Greens

Collard greens cooked in a sweet coconut curry sauce

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch collard greens
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 small onion finely diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced (about a tablespoon)
  • 1″ length of ginger root, peeled and sliced thinly into rounds
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced thinly
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 cups cooked chickpeas

Instructions

  1. Cut off the bottom stems from the collards and discard (or feed them to your dog. Banjo loves chewing on collard and kale stems, the weirdo). Chop the leaves into about 2 inch by 1 inch pieces. Rinse and set aside.
  2. Heat the coconut oil in a large pot (I used my wok) over medium high heat and add onion, garlic, ginger, jalapeño and stir fry for about a minute until the onion starts to brown a little.
  3. Add the turmeric and the collard greens and stir for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the coconut milk, water, salt and chickpeas, if using.
  5. Cover tightly and simmer over low heat 30-40 minutes. Check it occasionally to stir and add a bit more water if it begins to dry out before the collards are very tender and no longer bright green. It’s okay if the coconut begins to darken and caramelize, but don’t let it burn.
  6. When the dish is finished, the greens will be soft and deep forest green with the thick coconut sauce coating every bit.

curried collard greens

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