February 01, 2015

Tip # 73: How to make cooking of greens more interesting?

Cooking Greens can be tricky, but the benefits of eating them are great, including improved health and reduced risk of certain diseases. When cooked properly, they taste great too! Really its a challenge for us to make kids to love greens. Here are some Smart Samayal Tips to cook them delicious...


Greens   are packed with vitamins, minerals like iron and calcium, antioxidants, fibre,  and chlorophyll.  They are also a source of omega-3 fatty acids, have anti-inflammatory properties, and help the body detoxify!  


First, when buying greens, make sure they are very fresh. Look for vibrant dark green leaves that are crisp and full, not wilted or yellowish.  And, go organic when possible. Pass by any bunch with brown spots, yellowing edges, or limp-looking leaves.


Vegetables are alive! They are respiring, which means that they need moisture and air to survive. If you store wet greens in a sealed plastic bag, they will rot quickly.   The best way to store them is slightly wet in an open or perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator.


You need more greens per cooked serving than you might think. Greens after cooked get reduced in quantity than the vegetables.


Cook greens in an enamelled or stainless steel pot so their acidity doesn't react with the metal.



Wash and rinse them in generous amount of water before chopping. Wash them gently to remove dirts and pesticides on them.



If you are concerned that the greens will be too bitter, you can remove that bitter taste by blanching them first. You can do this before you chop the greens to make it easier to handle. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil and drop the leaves in. Stir them around a bit. In just a few minutes, the greens will start to wilt and become a beautiful, bright green color. Don’t cook them too long or they will lose that color and get mushy.   

Here are some interesting tips to increase the taste and flavour of greens:

1.  Start with aromatics like shallots, onions and garlic. Heat a bit of your favorite oil in the pan and saute thinly sliced shallots and minced garlic until they are lightly browned and the smell permeates the air, telling everyone you are cooking something delicious. Add a pinch of red chilli flakes or finely chopped green chillies for a bit of heat. Or grate some fresh ginger. When you add the chopped greens, toss them so they get coated in the seasoned oil. These aromatics set the foundation for an amazingly flavourful dish.


2. Add chopped tofu or paneer to the cooked greens to make it attractive for kids.


3. Adding slitted green chillies to greens while cooking and coconut milk towards the end gives an exotic taste to the greens.


4. Ground three shallots, cumin seeds a spoon and a tb spoon of coconut and add to the boiling greens for a different flavour.


5. While boiling greens add a tea spoon of sugar to retain its green colour and enhance the taste.