Mooli sabzi

Dry radish curry


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

In the West, white radish is underutilised as a vegetable. In India and Sri Lanka it is not just a garnish or salad item, but a highly regarded vegetable for curries such as this. The leaves of the radish are said to contain more vitamin C than the roots — so instead of throwing the leaves away (as we do with many of our root crops in the West), wash them well, chop them up and stir them through your curries right at the end and they will add a vibrant green colour and crunch.


  • 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon ajwain seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons Ginger green chilli paste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 200 g (7 oz/ cups) chopped large white radish
  • 200 g (7 oz/4 cups) chopped radish leaves, or even mustard greens
  • 45 g ( oz/1 cup) roughly chopped English spinach
  • salt, to taste

Ginger Green Chilli Paste

  • 100 g ( oz) young fresh ginger, thinly peeled, then finely grated or chopped
  • 100 g ( oz) green chillies (preferably hot), stalks removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt


To make the ginger green chilli paste, use a spice grinder or mortar and pestle to grind the ginger and chillies into a paste. Scrape into a bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined. You won’t need all the paste for this recipe; the rest will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 8–10 days, or indefinitely in the freezer, to use in other recipes.

Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add the ajwain seeds and cumin seeds. When they splutter, add the 2 teaspoons ginger green chilli paste and stir. Add the remaining dry spices and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, until they become mushy.

Add the chopped radish and cook, stirring, for a few minutes, then stir in 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) water. Cover and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, until the radish becomes soft. Remove the lid.

The curry is meant to be dry, so if there is any water left in the pan, let it reduce before adding the leafy greens.

Stir in the radish leaves and spinach and let them wilt for 2–3 minutes. Do not overcook, or they will become brown and mushy.

Season to taste with salt. Serve hot, with chapatti or rice.