Indonesian-Style Collard Greens Curry (Gulai Sayur)

  • Serves

    serves 4-6


The key step in making this Indonesian dish is to create a base of flavors by gently sweating the paste of chiles, turmeric, ginger, and garlic before stewing the collard greens in coconut milk.


  • 1 12 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 7 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 red or green Thai chiles, minced
  • 1 (3") piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 large fresh stalks lemongrass
  • 3 tbsp. peanut oil
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 (14-oz.) can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 lb. collard greens, stemmed and cut crosswise into 1/2"-wide strips
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Step 1

Combine turmeric, shallots, garlic, chiles, and ginger in a small food processor and purée, adding up to 4 tbsp. water, to form a smooth paste; set aside. Trim tip and root ends of lemongrass stalks and remove tough outer layer. Using a meat mallet, smash lemongrass to flatten and tie into a knot.

Step 2

Heat oil in a 6-qt. pot over medium-low heat; add reserved paste and lemongrass; cook, stirring often, until very fragrant, 10–12 minutes. Add sugar, salt, and coconut milk; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add collards; cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 40 minutes. Remove lemongrass; season with salt and pepper and serve warm.

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