Mustard greens are used in North Indian cooking. The leaves have a really spicy, pungent flavor and come from the mustard plant, which also produces the seeds used in dijon mustard. They are mildly bitter – kind of halfway between kale and spinach. I like the flavor of them, but blanching the leaves or boiling them for some time will remove this bitterness. This is what the greens look like:
On Indian restaurant menus sometimes you will see saag paneer or palak paneer. The difference is that saag is actually a mixture of mustard greens and spinach and palak is just spinach. Also when used in a curry, they are usually boiled and blended into a paste, but I like them leafy when I cook them. Mixing spinach with the mustard greens is good because it mellows out the taste and complements it well.
I made this dish for my friend Louis and we ate it with rice and some boondi raita.
1 1/2 tablespoons oil
1/2 block of firm tofu, cubed small
2 tablespoons ghee or oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
pinch of asafoetida or hing
1 bunch mustard greens, rinsed and chopped
1 10 oz bag baby spinach
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece ginger, grated
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/3 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder (or more)
2 tablespoons whipping cream (or more)
salt to taste
In a non stick pan fry the tofu in a tablespoon and a half of oil under medium low heat for about 15-20 minutes, turning the tofu so it gets evenly fryed.
Bring a pot of water to boil and throw in mustard greens. Boil for 10 minutes and drain.
Heat ghee or oil under medium heat. When hot, put in cumin seed and asafoetida and shake pan up. Heat until cumin seed turn golden brown and smell fragrant.
Throw in onions and cook for about 15 minutes, until turning brown.
Can cook longer until a bit carmelized.
Next throw in garlic and ginger and stir well. Cook for 30 seconds.
Add in garam masala, coriander powder, turmeric, red chili powder and salt and mix well. Coat onions with spices and fry for a minute. (If getting dry can add a bit of water or oil to the pan)
Next add in mustard greens and spinach and cook for 5 minutes. Add in tofu, mix and cook for about 2 minutes covered under low heat.
Turn heat off and stir in whipping cream.
Serve hot with rice or roti.