Kale Subzi

I hate waste, but I will admit, I am not above it.

I get really excited at the sight of fresh vegetables, buy an armload of them, put them in the fridge, and — when life gets in the way — I forget all about them until they have turned into a sloppy, barely-recognizable mess and it’s time to throw them out.

Greens are usually at the top of the casualty list, as anyone that cooks can understand, because of their short shelf life.

So as much as I love greens and leafies of all kinds, I don’t dare to buy them fresh unless I know I will use them rightaway.

On my last trip to the store, I found some wonderfully fresh kale. In my book, kale is a little high maintenance because of the tough stems that need to be trimmed out, so I usually buy it frozen. But this time I simply couldn’t resist their call.

What’s better, I found this deliciously simple recipe for them in World Vegetarian. It’s actually a recipe that can be adapted to any leafy vegetable, and although Sri Lankan in origin, it was not that different from some Indian recipes for greens.

So kale it was for dinner last night, and I must say I loved both the ease of preparation of this recipe as well as the subtle flavor of the simple spices that held up beautifully against the robust taste of the kale.

Kale Subzi


1 bunch kale, tough stems trimmed, and leaves cut into very thin strips.

1 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil

1 onion, cut into very thin slices

1/2 tsp turmeric

2 green chillies, slit down the middle

1 sprig curry leaves (about 10-15 individual leaves)

1/4 cup shredded coconut

Salt to taste

Heat oil in a saucepan.

Add the onions, chillies and curry leaves and saute, stirring frequently, until the onion turns golden-brown.

Add the kale, turmeric and salt. Add about 1/2 cup of water. When the water comes to a boil, turn the heat to low, cover with a lid, and simmer for about 25-30 minutes or until the kale is tender. Add more water if needed.

Toss in the coconut and serve hot with rice and dal, or rotis/chapatis.


(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

20 thoughts on “Kale Subzi

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 19, 2009 at 2:25pm

    I do the same! :D

    I just clean up my fridge with Bell peppers, cooked Potatoes, Beets and beans!! With greens which can slimy quickly, if I don’t have plans to cook within 3 days, I chop and freeze them.

    Love Kale subzi, full of Folate and delicious too.

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 19, 2009 at 2:38pm

    I have the same problem! I pick up more than I can cook in a week, and the fist one into the crisper gets long forgotten. So the last two weeks I made it a point to pickup only 2 veggies, I can drive out if I really need anything else. I wasted a few leaves of kale the last time I bought them, so the chard got cooked the very same day this week :))

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 19, 2009 at 4:34pm

    always seen this vege in the grocery store
    never made it
    now I will Thanks

  4. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 19, 2009 at 7:05pm

    A handy (har har) trick I’ve learned to clean kale is to hold the bottom of the stem in one fist, then wrap your other hand the same way at the base of the leaf and pull along the stem – no knife necessary! I eat kale almost daily, so this has really helped me out.

    PS – Love your blog!

  5. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 19, 2009 at 7:20pm

    I’m doing the empty the fridge challenge unofficially just for this reason alone. Sigh.

  6. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 19, 2009 at 7:55pm

    I always freeze the extra greens. & am kinda got in to the habit of emptying the entire fridge before i go shopping.. the last bits always going in mixed veggies, salad or dal. this is the 2nd post i am seeing green with coconut! need to try it.

  7. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 19, 2009 at 8:00pm

    Kale is a pretty sturdy green–we’ve found that if you put a few tablespoons of water in a plastic bag, put in the kale leaves and then tie a tight knot in the bag, they will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge.

    I’ve always felt that Kale is one of the most unloved greens in the produce aisle. You can buy a huge bunch for as little as a dollar or two, and you can make healthy meals for days out of it!

    Casual Kitchen

  8. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 19, 2009 at 8:12pm

    I would have never thought to cook kale in such a subzi, this is such a great idea and it looks delish.

    I have begun to buy less in my weekend shopping so that I do not land up with too many veggies needing to get used soon !

  9. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 19, 2009 at 9:54pm

    i now buy my greens frozen, because there has been soo many times that ive thrown them away just like that!! the Kale subzi looks delicious!

  10. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 20, 2009 at 3:24am

    I make something similar- a thoran .
    I have the same problem with greens. They begin to go bad before I get a chance to use them. That’s why I tend to use the frozen versions of such veggies, more. I did not know that frozen kale was available. Will be on the lookout for it now.

  11. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 20, 2009 at 3:46am

    Last week I made kale Subzi too. Pretty much I tried all greens in Indian way they are all different in taste!

  12. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 20, 2009 at 4:17am

    I used to do the same and get nice blast from my hubby:(

    i havent tried kale…does it taste like spinach?

  13. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 20, 2009 at 4:41am

    Iam just like u vaishali..iam trying..trying to become better some day:)

  14. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 20, 2009 at 6:09am

    I do a lot of mixed veg stuff … usually the Bengali way.
    I do not know what kale is Vaishali .. does it have an english/hindi name .. or is kale a hindi name? :-(

  15. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 20, 2009 at 10:30am

    Thanx for sharing another lovely and simple way to incorporate more nutritious greens into our diet!

  16. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 20, 2009 at 10:48am

    Greens are usually at the top of the casualty list
    i completely agree with u. i make it a point that i buy greens only if i am going to cook them with in 2 days.
    lovely kale subji Vaish.

  17. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Gita's Kitchen

    March 20, 2009 at 12:26pm

    I too have the same problems with fresh veggies and greens :( This dish looks so good! I tried cooking with kale once but it didnt suit my taste that much! This version looks yummy, cant wait to try this one :)

  18. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Poornima Nair

    March 22, 2009 at 1:32am

    Thats something I can easily relate to…how much ever I try to manage some fruits and vegetables always end in the trash unused…
    The kale subzi sounds yumm…

  19. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    June 19, 2013 at 7:44pm

    Hi could someone please tell me where can I buy Kale in India or in Tamil Nadu. I need it for its health benefits Urgently….please help

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