Stir-Fried Spiced Collards and Chickpeas 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

Weeknight Vegetarian Feb 19, 2014

Collards don't always have to be cooked for a long time in lots of liquid, Southern-style. This treatment keeps them bright and vibrant while adding spice and and texture. Serve over rice or another grain.

Make Ahead: The cooked dish can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 1 1/2 pounds collard greens
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened dried coconut
  • 3 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 14 ounces canned, no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed (may substitute cooked-from-scratch chickpeas, drained)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • Water (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


Cut the collard leaves from the stems; discard the stems or save them for another use. Stack, roll and thinly slice the collard greens, then transfer them to a salad spinner; rinse and spin dry.

Combine the coconut and the boiling water in a small bowl; sprinkle in the turmeric and ancho chili powder and stir well.

Pour the oil into a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion; cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the cumin and mustard seeds, crushed red pepper flakes, ginger, garlic and chickpeas; cook until the spices become fragrant, the ginger and garlic are tender and the chickpeas have warmed through, 2 or 3 minutes.

Add the shredded greens, salt and pepper; increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring vigorously, until the greens wilt but don’t lose their color, about 5 minutes. (If they stick to the pan, add a little water.)

Stir in the coconut mixture and lime juice. Taste, and add salt and pepper if needed.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe in "Leon: Fast Vegetarian," by Jane Baxter and Henry Dimbleby (Conran Octopus, 2014).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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