This garlicky kale stir fry is delicious, needs very few ingredients and uses a cool salting trick to get the perfect, chewy texture from Kale. You are going to love it!!
Look, I am always thinking of “how to cook greens” in a way that the entire family (including the kids) will be accepting of it. Yes, while I 100% agree that our Indian cuisine is quite talented in its ability to make greens; sometimes the heart wants more than just saag, thogayal, masiyal…
Lately, I picked up a Greek recipe book that had so many ideas for greens. They had ideas for greens cooked in milk, stuffing it in phyllo dough, and lastly – salting + cooking it – This was very interesting!!
So, I tried the method. Salting and massaging the kale made it so pliable and easy to work with. Foodies already know that salting and massaging Kale for making a Kale salad is quite popular. However, kale salads are often chewy that gives your jaw a good workout. Aha!! – But taking this softened, salted kale and then stir-frying it gives the kale not just great flavor but the perfect Goldilocks consistency (Not too hard, not too soggy).
Alright, enough about the technique, let go to the steps of making this Garlicky Kale stir fry recipe:
Step by Step Pics
Salt and massage the kale
Chop the “salted and massaged” Kale finely…
In a hot pan, add garlic, chili flakes…
Add chopped Kale…
Close the lid and let it cook for just a couple of minutes
Now add cooked couscous (or any cooked grain, soaked poha, cooked rice noodles etc…)
Add lemon-pepper seasoning, (I found this in a local grocery store, it is a fun seasoning that adds flavor without the wetness of lemon). Not a problem if you don’t have it, just squeeze lemon instead, not a big deal at all…
Finally, check for salt, add 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil to the finished dish (adds great flavor), mix well and serve…
This vegan Kale stir-fry is flavored with garlic, chili, lemon and pepper. The kale is salted, massaged and stir-fried to get the perfect level of delicious, chewy texture.
- 3 cups Chopped Kale
- 3 cups Cooked Couscous (Any cooked grain)
- 3-5 Garlic Cloves (Chopped)
- 3/4 tsp Red Chili Flakes
- 3-4 pinches Lemon Pepper Powder
- 4 tbsp Olive Oil
- Salt (1/2 tsp for salting Kale) + extra as per taste
Roughly chop 1 bunch of clean kale and sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt all over the kale leaves. Massage them well and leave it to sit for about 15 minutes (or even overnight).
Once the kale leaves are softened (it is easy to bunch them up now), chop them finely on a board with a sharp knife.
In a hot pan, add 3 tbsp of olive oil. Add finely chopped garlic, and chili flakes and stir it vigorously for about 30 seconds. (Do not let the garlic burn)
Add the chopped kale to the pan. Stir well. Add 2 tablespoons of water and close lid. Let kale steam inside for a couple of minutes.
Add cooked couscous or any preferred cook grain of choice. Stir fry them well.
Add remaining 1 tbsp of oil, and sprinkle the lemon-pepper seasoning on the stir fry. Mix well. Serve.
Salting the kale makes the leaves soft and pliable and easy to cut. They also cook much faster than if you used fresh kale.
If you do not have the lemon-pepper seasoning, just sprinkle lemon juice and use ground black pepper for similar effect.
While I did tout the fact that this recipe needs minimal ingredients, have you noticed most green recipes are this way? Most of them need just garlic, chili, maybe ginger, some onions, that’s it. In fact, some Kashmiri haaq recipes are so minimal, I’ll be like “huh – only hing and some chillis – wut? where are the remaining ingredients?”
Point is, most of the greens dishes rely on using simple, fresh ingredients and getting the right texture. That’s why I am so thrilled with the texture of Kale in this dish. That and the fact that I did not need to take any equipment out – steamer, blender etc makes me really love the simplicity of this recipe.
My husband and kids loved this Garlicky Kale Stir Fry recipe. I really hope you give this a try. You can substitute couscous with any hearty cooked grain (brown rice, bulgur, quinoa, etc) and you will be fine. This is an easy idea for a quick and healthy dinner or even perfect for lunch boxes.
Do post your comments and thoughts below. As always, I look forward to reading them!!