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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Indian Spiced Bok Choy

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This Indian bok choy recipe is a delicious fusion of Indian spices and Chinese greens, offering a unique twist to your regular stir-fry. The bok choy is tender and melts in your mouth, with a flavor and aroma that is hard to resist. You’ll love this vegan and gluten-free side dish!

Indian bok choy stir fry served on a white plate.

I’m a firm believer that Indian spices make just about any vegetable taste delicious, especially veggies that tend to have a more bitter flavor profile or are not super flavorful on their own. Spices like turmeric, cumin and coriander are just so pungent and aromatic that they make otherwise boring veggies come alive.

Bok choy is a leafy vegetable that’s a staple in Chinese cooking, but we’re giving it an Indian twist here. Stir fried with cumin, mustard seeds, green chiles, and turmeric powder, our Indian style bok choy is literally transformed into a delicious dish with tons of flavor.

This bok choy stir fry recipe is simple and quick, making it a perfect side dish for an easy dinner. Onions caramelized on medium-high heat adds a sweet undertone to the dish, balancing the spice and the slightly bitter taste of bok choy.

Usually, I’m not a fan of bok choy in stir-fries because the pieces are too big. It’s really chewy and too tough to get through. But in this recipe, it is diced into tiny pieces and feels more like Swiss chard – perfectly tender and satisfying.

This tasty recipe also happens to be incredibly versatile, and it’s an easy side dish to pair with a full Indian meal. You can serve it with cooked dal for a complete protein-packed vegetarian meal or pair it with your favorite Indian curry. Everything cooks in just a few minutes for a wholesome side everyone will love.

👩🏽‍🍳 Why You’ll Love Indian Spiced Bok Choy

  • Plant-Based: This Indian bok choy stir fry is a winner for those following a plant-based diet. Bok choy is the star ingredient, a hearty leafy vegetable that’s enhanced with Indian flavors. It’s so tasty that it will satisfy meat-eaters and non-meat-eaters alike!
  • Quick, Easy Recipe: With simple ingredients and a cooking time of just 20 minutes, this dish is a perfect choice for a quick, healthy side. It’s super easy, even for those new to Indian cooking. Trust me, you’ll be able to master this cooking method the first time, and apply it to other veggies too!
  • Gluten-Free: Indian spiced bok choy is a great choice for those on a gluten-free diet. This recipe uses no wheat or gluten-containing ingredients, making it a safe and delicious option for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
  • Family-Friendly: This quick recipe is sure to be a hit with the whole family. The mild, aromatic spices and the tender bok choy make it a great way to introduce your kids to this leafy green and may even entice them to try it!

Latest Recipe Video!

🥘 Ingredients

The best thing about this Indian bok choy recipe is how simple it is. You can find all the essential ingredients at your local grocery store or farmer’s market, making it a convenient and tasty recipe to whip up anytime!

Ingredients for Indian bok choy recipe on a white background.
  • Bok Choy: This Chinese cabbage, also known as pak choi, is the star of this recipe. When diced and cooked, it becomes soft and tender, transforming from a tough leafy vegetable to melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness! You’ll use the white part and leafy part.
  • Red Onion: Chopped red onion adds a sweet, sharp flavor that compliments the Asian greens perfectly. It also provides a colorful contrast, making the dish visually appealing.
  • Indian Spices & Extra Virgin Olive Oil: We used mustard seeds, cumin seeds, ground turmeric and salt as the base of this savory dish. Mustard seeds, cumin and turmeric are a staple in Indian cuisine, adding a warm, earthy flavor and nutty aroma. Olive oil is essential for sauteeing the spices and allowing them to bloom. The light, fruity flavor of the oil also enhances the overall taste of the dish.
  • Hing Or Asafoetida: Hing is a unique spice with a strong, pungent smell. It’s used in small quantities but adds a distinct flavor that’s integral to many Indian dishes. Many varieties contain gluten, but gluten-free versions are also available. 
  • Green Chile: This ingredient brings heat to the dish. I will often use green chiles in Indian recipes, but I’ll remove the seeds so that it’s not as spicy, or I’ll use the chile whole or just chopped once in half, to help control the heat. Depending on your preference, you can adjust the amount of green chilies to suit your taste. 

🍲 Ingredient Substitutions

  • Bok Choy: If you can’t find large bok choy leaves, you can instead use baby bok choy. They’re known for their pale green leaves, delicate texture, and sweet flavor. You don’t need to chop them up too much if you do choose to use them instead. 
  • Oil: You can substitute the olive oil with any other neutrally flavored oil. Coconut oil or avocado oil would work well in this recipe.
  • Onion: You can use a white or yellow onion instead. If you want a more pungent flavor, try using a small amount of shallot.
  • Spices: If you don’t have black mustard seeds, you can use a pinch of dry mustard powder but the flavor won’t be as strong. Similarly, with cumin, you can use ground cumin instead of cumin seeds.
  • Peppers: Depending on your heat preference, you can substitute green chile with jalapeno or serrano peppers. For a milder flavor, green bell pepper can be used.
  • Hing: The uniqueness of hing or asafoetida is tricky to substitute, but a mixture of garlic and onion powder can provide a similar flavor profile. You can also add in some black pepper for an extra kick.

🔪 How To Make Indian Bok Choy Stir Fry

Here’s how to cook bok choy Indian style! For more detailed instructions and nutrition facts, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Heat The Oil And Spices: Start by heating your oil in a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot enough, toss in your Indian spices and green chilies, stirring until the mustard and cumin seeds begin to pop.

Chiles and Indian spices sauteeing in a pan on the stove.

Caramelize The Onions: Once your spices are popping, it’s time to add in your onions. Cook these down until they have caramelized to a beautiful, golden brown color.

Onions, chiles and Indian spices sauteeing in a pan on the stove.

Add Bok Choy: Now, add the chopped bok choy to your pan over that medium flame.

Bok choy cooking with Indian spices in a large skillet on the stove.

Cook: Cook the bok choy on medium heat until it has wilted and softened slightly – this will take about 5-10 minutes. Once the bok choy is tender enough for your liking, turn the heat to low and cook another couple of minutes.

Bok choy stir fried with Indian spices in a large skillet.

Serve: Enjoy your delicious Indian bok choy warm with your favorite main dishes!

Indian bok choy served in a grey bowl with w fork and spoon on the side.

💭 Expert Tips

  • Use Fresh Bok Choy: While you might be able to find frozen bok choy, fresh bok choy is so much better for this tasty recipe! You can easily find it at farmers markets or in the produce section of your local grocery store. Its crisp texture and a slightly sweet flavor is perfect for this Indian cuisine-inspired dish.
  • Allow The Spices To Pop: In Indian cooking, popping the mustard and cumin seeds in oil over medium-high heat is an essential step. This releases the wonderful aroma and flavor of the spices, giving your dish an authentic Indian touch, so do not skip this part!
  • Caramelize The Onions: Take your time to cook down the onions until they are caramelized. This not only enhances the sweetness of the onions but also adds a depth of flavor to the dish. It is worth the extra minutes!
  • Chop The Bok Choy Small: Make sure to dice your bok choy into tiny pieces. This makes it tender and easy to eat, unlike large pieces that can be tough and chewy in stir-fries.
  • Don’t Overcook It: Cook it until it has just wilted. Overcooking can lead to a bitter taste and soggy texture, so keep a close eye!

📖 Variations

There are so many different ways to change up this Indian bok choy stir-fry and make it your own!

  • Spicy Bok Choy Sabji: If you are a fan of spicy food, adding more green chillies, a sprinkle of chili flakes, or red pepper flakes can give this dish a fiery kick. This variation is perfect for those who love their Indian dishes and stir fries hot and spicy. You can experiment with other spices like garam masala or a hot curry powder as well.
  • Add More Veggies: You can add other vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, your favorite leafy greens, or even tofu or paneer for extra protein. Make sure you adjust the cooking time accordingly! The general rule of thumb is to add hard veggies before dark leafy greens like bok choy when stir frying.
  • Indian Style Bok Choy Curry: Turn this stir-fry bok choy into a curry by adding a couple of curry leaves and a teaspoon of curry powder to the recipe. You can even add other Indian vegetables to it, or give it a Thai curry flair with Thai basil. I recommend chopping and adding a small tomato for a tangy flavor. Serve with a side of jasmine rice or naan for a complete Indian meal.
  • Bok Choy Sabzi With Coconut: Give this recipe a South Indian twist by adding coconut. Sauté the bok choy as per the recipe and then finish with a generous topping of fresh grated coconut for a delicious variation.
  • Bok Choy With Sesame Seeds: For a different texture and flavor, toss in a tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds towards the end of the cooking process. The crunch of the sesame seeds pairs wonderfully with the tender leaves, making this a must-try variation. You can even add a drizzle of sesame oil!

🍽 Serving Suggestions

This Indian style bok choy stir fry pairs well with various meals in so many different ways. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Indian Mains: Serve this Indian stir fry as a side dish with traditional Indian dishes like dhaba style dal tadka, chicken curry, Instant Pot dal, vegan palak paneer, or chickpea and potato curry.
  • Asian Cuisine: Pair this dish with your favorite Asian dish! Although the flavors lean Indian, this dish goes well with Asian stir-fries with soy sauce or oyster sauce like this tofu broccoli with sesame noodles
  • Other Side Dishes: If you’re looking for a light yet delicious lunch option, serve it with some vegan quinoa patties, sweet corn tamale cakes, or some mushroom toast. The savory Indian spices in the dish make these light options taste even better. Alternatively, throw some rice in the pressure cooker and keep things super simple.

🙌 Dietary Adaptations

This Indian bok choy recipe is plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free! This means it should suit most dietary restrictions right off the bat, and you don’t need to modify the recipe in any way.

🫙 Storage Directions

  • Refrigerating: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The tender bok choy should keep well for about three to four days.
  • Freezing: Unfortunately, due to the delicate nature of leaves, freezing this dish is not recommended as it may result in a mushy texture and bitter taste upon thawing.
  • Reheating: To enjoy this Indian pak choy recipe warm next time, simply reheat it on medium heat in a large skillet for about 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally to guarantee even heat distribution. Add a tsp of oil if necessary to prevent sticking. You can also reheat it in the microwave for 30 seconds – 1 minute until warmed through.

❓Recipe FAQs

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CLEAN BOK CHOY?

Bok choy, like any leafy green, can often have some dirt hidden in its leaves. The best way to clean it is by separating the leaves from the bok choy stalks and rinsing them under cold water. Give each leaf a gentle rub to ensure all the dirt is removed.

IS THIS RECIPE SPICY?

This stir fried Indian bok choy does include green chilies and Indian spices, which add a kick. However, the heat is balanced by the mild flavor of the bok choy. If you prefer less heat, you can reduce the amount of green chilies used or remove the seeds before adding them in.

IS THIS DISH TRADITIONALLY INDIAN, OR IS IT A FUSION RECIPE?

This recipe draws inspiration from Indian cuisine but may not be considered traditional. It incorporates Indian spices and cooking techniques, with a fun flair from the Chinese bok choy!

IS BOK CHOY THE SAME AS CHINESE BROCCOLI?

No, bok choy (or pak choy) and Chinese broccoli (or gai lan) are two different Chinese vegetables and have different textures and tastes. Both are quite popular in Chinese cuisine. Chinese broccoli is also different than choy sum, another popular leafy green used in many Chinese dishes.

CAN I USE FROZEN BOK CHOY IF I CAN’T FIND FRESH BOK CHOY?

While fresh bok choy is recommended for better texture and flavor, you can use frozen bok choy if fresh is not available. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Indian bok choy stir fry served on a white plate.

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📋 Recipe Card

🎥 Watch How to Make It

https://youtu.be/s9oQ8K6ZeVA
Indian bok choy stir fry served on a white plate.
Print Recipe
5 from 24 votes

Indian Bok Choy Recipe

This Indian bok choy recipe is a delicious fusion of Indian spices and Chinese greens, offering a unique twist to your regular stir-fry. The bok choy is tender and melts in your mouth, with a flavor and aroma that is hard to resist. You'll love this vegan and gluten-free side dish!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, Vegan, vegetarian
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Low Lactose, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 109kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

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Instructions

  • Heat your oil in a medium sized pan over medium-high heat. Add the spices and the green chile and stir until the mustard and cumin seeds pop.
  • Once the spices are popping, throw in your onions. Cook down the onions until they are caramelized.
  • Add the bok choy, and cook until the bok choy has cooked down. This will take about 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Use Fresh Bok Choy: While you may find frozen bok choy at the store, fresh bok choy is best for this recipe. You can easily find it at farmers markets or in the produce section of your local grocery store. Its crisp texture and a slightly sweet flavor is perfect for this Indian cuisine-inspired dish.
  • Allow The Spices To Pop: In Indian cooking, popping the mustard and cumin seeds in oil over medium-high heat is an essential step. This releases the wonderful aroma and flavor of the spices, giving your dish an authentic Indian touch so do not skip this part!
  • Caramelize The Onions: Take your time to cook down the onions until they are caramelized. This not only enhances the sweetness of the onions but also adds a depth of flavor to the dish. It is worth the extra minutes!
  • Chop The Bok Choy Small: Make sure to dice your bok choy into tiny pieces. This makes it tender and easy to eat, unlike large pieces that can be tough and chewy in stir-fries.
  • Don’t Overcook It: Cook it until it has just wilted. Overcooking can lead to a bitter taste and soggy texture, so keep a close eye!

Nutrition

Calories: 109kcal | Carbohydrates: 18.3g | Protein: 12.6g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 546mg | Fiber: 8.4g | Sugar: 9.9g

48 responses to “Indian Spiced Bok Choy”

  1. This was such a unique and unexpected recipe that does not disappoint! Light, easy and delicious; definitely, a new favorite recipe!5 stars

  2. The combination of fragrant spices and tender bok choy leaves me wanting more with every bite. It’s a perfect balance of heat and savory goodness. Absolutely delicious!5 stars

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