Indian Spiced Swiss Chard

May  6, 2013
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

This Spring I craved the sweet, smoky spices and hot ginger of traditional Indian cuisine, but was trying to cut back on dairy and carbs. Luckily, my garden provided an embarrassment of Swiss Chard and I experimented with spices that would satisfy my craving healthily. This dish is sweet from the cardamon and coriander and packs a heady heat from ginger. Toast and grind your own spices if you can to maximize the flavor.
This dish is delicious as a simple meal over rice with a dollop of yoghurt, but I like to serve it as an accompaniment to simple grilled fish. I served it twice to chard-skeptics and they came back for thirds! —lloreen

What You'll Need
  • Spice Mixture
  • 1.5 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 green cardamon pods, seeds only
  • .5 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 pinch cayenne (to taste)
  • Chard
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 dash sea salt
  • 1 bunch chard stems, chopped in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 bunch chard leaves, rolled like cigars and cut in thin strips
  1. Spice Mixture
  2. In a dry hot pan, toast your cumin, coriander, and cardamon, agitating the pan constantly until the pods begin to brown and smell toasted. Be careful to remove them before they burn.
  3. Grind all your spices in a mortar or spice grinder.
  1. Chard
  2. In a large pan with a fitted lid, heat your oil or ghee over medium low heat. Add the onion, stirring to coat with the fat, then let it cook slowly until translucent and the bottom layer begins to caramelize, about 20 minutes
  3. Add the ginger and garlic and stir 60 seconds
  4. Turn the heat up to medium. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and spice mixture. Cover and let simmer until the tomatoes break apart easily with a wooden spoon and begin to look like a sauce. (about 5-10 mins) --You can make the dish up to this point up to 24 hours ahead and then reheat and proceed at dinner.
  5. Add the chard stems and simmer, uncovered until tender and easily pierced with a fork.
  6. Add the chard leaves, cover, and let simmer until the leaves wilt (2-3 minutes)
  7. Salt to taste.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Violeta
  • AntoniaJames
  • lloreen
  • SCL

7 Reviews

SCL July 22, 2022
This recipe was perfect for us. First, we love the Indian spice pantry. Second, I had a boat load of Swiss chard growing on my patio. I didn't have cardamom pods, so I used ground cardamom (and guessed at the amount; used one teaspoon). Rather than using cayenne, I have a garam marsala mix from a local Indian grocery which has quite a kick, so I used a 1/4 teaspoon of that instead. Loved how the tomatoes broke down and made the dish saucy. I served it under a baked tilapia with a panko breadcrumb coating (adhering to the fish by a layer of dijon mustard). I printed the recipe to save it for repeats in the future.
Florence P. June 14, 2018
This was so good. I was looking for a new way to eat chard and this recipe surprised me. Thanks Lloreen for sharing it. I even used drained canned tomatoes and still got good results. Try adding some chick peas for a main course.
lloreen June 14, 2018
Glad you enjoyed it, Florence! Your suggestion of chickpeas is good. I have a bumper crop of chard and may try that. I bet it would be good on cauliflower rice for a very healthy vegan meal.
mzkmann August 10, 2017
Great recipe, even my wife liked it. Yay, I can continue to grow chard in my garden! Serving suggestion: serve over sticky white Calrose rice OR brown rice. YUM!!! A nice bottle of Central Coast California Cabernet Sauvignon was a nice pairing also!
Violeta April 3, 2014
I made this last night. Absolutely delicious! Such subtle flavours from spices. I served it with grilled sweet potatoes on the top. Thank you Lloreen for the recipe. :)
AntoniaJames May 16, 2013
Love this - especially the blend that's top heavy with coriander. (In so many, cumin takes top billing.) I plan to make this soon, as in tomorrow evening, for house guests, as part of a vegan meal. ;o)
lloreen May 16, 2013
I love cumin but there is something about the milder sweetness of coriander that compliments the iron earthiness of chard. I hope the recipe works okay for you! Enjoy the vegan feast!