Spring Vegetable Curry with Ramp Cilantro Chutney

February 16, 2010

Author Notes:

This is a vegetarian curry that features ingredients available here in upstate NY in the spring: ramps (which I foraged myself), fiddleheads, and dandelion greens. If you can't find one of more of these in your neck of the woods, I've given you some ideas for substitutions. The recipe is adapted from a vegetarian curry of mine that was originally inspired by the delicious Tomato and Coconut Fish Curry recipe in Monica Bhide's lovely book, Modern Spice.


Serves: 2-3


  • 2 tablespoons organic coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 4 whole ramps, chopped fine (use 4 cloves of peeled garlic if you don't have ramps)
  • 1 Serrano chili pepper, minced (leave the seeds in if you want your curry to be spicy)
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • one 14 oz. can organic whole coconut milk
  • 1 cup fiddleheads, rinsed very well and cleaned of all debris (use 1 cup asparagus tips if you don't have fiddleheads)
  • 1 cup chopped dandelion greens (use collards or kale if you don't have dandelion greens)
  • 1 bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped (I used half of a red one and half of an orange one)
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt- optional
  • about 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • green tops of 4 ramps, chopped fine (use 1/4 cup chopped mint if you don't have ramps)
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 teaspoon organic sugar
In This Recipe


  1. In a large skillet or wok, melt the coconut oil or ghee over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and cook for a minute or two until they "pop", then add the ginger, minced ramps, and chili pepper. Stir everything around for a minute or so.
  2. Add the chopped sweet potato to the pan along with the coconut milk. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little water if the liquid seems too thick.
  3. While the sweet potato is cooking, place your clean fiddleheads in a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 10 minutes (fiddleheads are a wild food, and this is the recommended preparation so that you don't become ill from them...better safe than sorry). After they've been boiled for 10 minutes, drain and set aside.
  4. Add the fiddleheads, the dandelion greens, the bell pepper, and the tomato to the sweet potatoes. Simmer for another 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender, again adding a little water if necessary.
  5. Mix in the spices (and salt, if using). Cook for another minute or two. Taste and adjust the spices, if necessary. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly while you proceed with the chutney.
  6. To make the chutney, mix the minced ramp tops with the cilantro in a small bowl. Add the fresh lime juice and the sugar. Mix well, and serve over the curry.

More Great Recipes:
Stew|Indian|Cilantro|Curry|Milk/Cream|Vegetable|Ramps|Mustard|Bell Pepper|Spring|Gluten-Free|Entree

Reviews (1) Questions (0)

1 Review

Dan K. April 30, 2016
I love this idea but wanted say that steaming fiddleheads works, too. In fact, the moisture from the steaming process tends to draw out some of the "indiginous flavour" that results from them growing near a swamp. This leaves them with their natural, wonderful, flavour and texture. It's also easier to judge when they are done.