Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall believes that we eat too much meat. This recipe, taken from his latest book, River Cottage Veg, shows just how versatile vegetables can be.  If you want to make it ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze it, leave out the yoghurt and add it at the last minute, just before serving. It is very similar to one that we do at Wickedfood Cooking School in our Indian cooking class.  You can substitute spinach or kale for Swiss chard. Instead of potatoes, you could use any root vegetable or cauliflower.


3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
3cm piece of ginger, peeled and chopped

About 500g Swiss chard
2T  sunflower oil
1 onion, halved and finely sliced
1t garam masala
½t mustard seeds
½t ground cumin
¼t ground turmeric
3 cardamom pods, bashed
350g new potatoes, quartered
250g plain (full-fat) yoghurt
1½T tomato purée
A small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
A small handful of almonds, cashews or pistachios, toasted and chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground
black pepper

  1. Pound the garlic, chilli and ginger together with a pinch of salt to a paste.
  2. Separate the chard leaves from the stalks. Cut the stalks into 2–3cm pieces and roughly chop the leaves.
  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and fry until just golden.
  4. Add the pounded garlic paste and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes.
  5. Tip in the rest of the spices and stir for a minute or two.
  6. Add the potatoes and chopped chard stalks and fry, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, so that they are well coated with the spice mixture.
  7. Pour in about 400ml water – enough just to cover the veg. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 10–12 minutes until the potatoes are just tender. Add the chard leaves, stir and cook until just wilted.
  8. In a bowl, whisk together the yoghurt, tomato puree and some of the hot liquid from the curry.
  9. Remove the curry from the heat, stir in the yoghurt mixture, return to the heat and warm through very gently (if it gets too hot, the yoghurt will curdle).
  10. Stir in most of the coriander. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
  11. Scatter over the toasted nuts and remaining coriander, then serve with rice and naan or chapattis.

Serves 4

For more recipes from River Cottage Vegclick here

Wickedfood Cooking School in Johannesburg runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built Johannesburg cooking studio. Cookery classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). This team building venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – team building cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference.

Our cooking lessons are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and team building cooking classes these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.