Beautiful kale


Photo updated 13 March 2010


A few weeks ago, at a dinner at a local restaurant, I ordered a main of duck accompanied by dauphinoise potatoes and  ‘winter vegetables’. When the food arrived, we realised that, hilariously, ‘the winter vegetables’ consisted of one single small leaf of kale! Hilariously, I say, because we were in a good mood regardless, and in the good company of my brother! I don’t want to even begin saying what and why was wrong with the rest of the food, but that one small leaf of kale did leave an impression. Simply braised and soft, it had a lovely deep flavour, and I was hooked instantly.  

A few days later, I bought some gorgeous purple and green kale at the farmers’ market. I  remembered seeing a recipe for aloo palak (spinach with potatoes) at Vegeyum, and also at Hooked on Heat recently, and thought kale would be a good substitute for spinach. Good? – It was even better! This is my version of this classic dish. Lightly spiced, with cumin seeds and turmeric, with a background of onions, ginger, garlic and green chilies, allowing the flavour of the potatoes and kale to shine through. It’s a fantastic side dish that I’ll be cooking a lot this autumn and winter! 

One word of warning. Normally, if using spinach, I would precook potatoes, but this is not necessary here because the kale takes quite a long time to cook. It is at its best braised gently until soft. 

This is my entry for Eating with the Seasons: November. For details on how to take part in this event that celebrates seasonal food, check out the introductory post!   



 Kale Aloo  



  SOURCE: my own recipe 

  PREPARATION TIME:10 – 15 min  

  COOKING TIME: 1 – 1.5 h 

  CUISINE: Indian 




  1 1/2 tbsp ghee 

  1 tsp cumin seeds 

  1 medium yellow onion, sliced thinly 


  3 cloves of garlic, chopped 

  2.5 cm ginger, finely chopped 

  2 green chilies 

  5 medium potatoes 

  1/3 tsp turmeric 

  a handful of purple and/or green kale, sliced into strips 

  a little water 



  1. Heat the ghee in the pan on medium heat and add cumin seeds. After they’ve released their  aroma and started to change colour, add the onion, sprinkle with salt and cook until they start going brown. 

  2. At this point, add ginger, chilies and garlic and saute further until the onions turn deeper brown, and the ginger and garlic are cooked.  

  3. Add the potatoes and fry for a few minutes. Sprinkle with turmeric.  

  4. Add kale and stir. Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook gently. Add water if necessary, and cook until the kale and the potatoes have softened. Adjust salt if necessary.   



Leave a comment


  1. Ha ha, one small leaf of kale!


  2. I just love kale… I discovered it last winter and really liked it. I am waiting to see it in the supermarket.


  3. I’m hoping to get another entry done! I love kale, especially the way my mum makes it. Nip on over to my blog there is an award waiting for you there!


  4. I just got a big bunch of kale from the farmer’s market too! Will send an entry for the event.


  5. My daughter introduced me to kale, which she discovered when she moved to London. It is wonderful – very hard to find here. I love the way that you have used it.


  6. Oops, it is me above, vegeyum. Also I forgot to mention how glad I am that you loved my spinach recipe.


  7. Apologies for the wrong link. Hopefully this one has got it right? Happy New Year!!


  8. I realise that I am more than a year late with this comment (that’s bad, even for me!!) but Cat and I made this at the weekend and LOVED it. It is a fantastic recipe. Thank you!


  9. Noooo don’t worry! Recipes are here for a long time, so people can try them whenever.

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
    Next time, try the Punjabi green lentil dhal.
    I have since been making my own garam masala. Delish!


  10. Great recipe, but I have a question: how are the potatoes supposed to be prepared? Peeled and diced? Cut into big chunks? Cooked whole (doubtful, but without instructions one is left to imagine…)


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