Vegan Indian Food Using Collards From My Garden

Cooking By Color – Green

When I took a gander at my garden last week the greens were flourishing. Especially our collard greens. But no one was eating them except the bugs. I grabbed all the bug-eaten leaves that I could to make this delicious Indian dish. No one was going to notice those little holes and I’m not one to waste. This dish turned out amazing and it’s so simple and quick to make.

collards from garden

I’m in love with Trader Joe’s coconut cream!! If you can’t find it full fat coconut milk or even unsweetened non-dairy yogurt will work. Remove the stems from the collard leaf. Chiffonade cut the leaves by rolling them up into a cigar shape and thinly slicing. Chop the stems up into a smaller dice. That way you can cook them all together in the same pot and the stems will get soft.

chopped collards

Saag Paneer is a traditional Indian dish made with spinach (oftentimes frozen) or mustard greens, which cooks for a long time into a stew. Most Indian dishes cook for a long time and use tons of oil. But who has time for that or wants to eat that much fat? I figured my collard greens would make an excellent substitute for the spinach and we skip the oil all together. And the most exciting thing is this dish takes 20 minutes! The tofu is a substitute for the paneer cheese. It’s totally optional. If you are using tofu be sure to use extra firm and press it for a good 10 minutes.

saag collards cooking

Creamed Collard Greens
Makes 1 to 2 servings

1/2 cup diced onion
2 garlic cloves chopped
Pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon tamari
About 3 cups chopped collard greens (chiffonade cut)
About 1 cup cubed extra firm tofu
1 cup coconut cream (I used Trader Joe’s)
Pinch cayenne

Heat up a skillet over medium heat. Add a touch of water to the skillet with onion, garlic and pinch of salt. Saute for a few minutes. Add spices, water and tamari and stir well. Add in collard greens and tofu and bring to a boil. Simmer with lid on for 5 minutes. Remove lid and stir in coconut cream and cayenne. Bring back to a boil and simmer with lid off until water has cooked off (about 8 minutes). Stir occasionally. Season to taste. Serve with brown rice or quinoa.

Do you like Indian food? What are your favorite dishes? Have you tried making it at home with good success?

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  1. I love Indian but as you say it’s usually cooked in tons and tons of oil. I had thali at my local Indian the other day and you could see the oil just pooling on my plate. Not too appetizing, despite the fact that the food was actually very tasty.

    I must try this, it looks simply wonderful 🙂

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