Coconut Braised Endive
20 Min

Coconut Braised Endive

My first encounter with endive was during my days working at Café Annie in the late ‘90s. High in vitamin K, Belgian endive is an extremely pale, slightly bitter chicory with tightly packed light green heads and is usually grown indoors to minimize the amount of chlorophyll it develops. Having grown up with bitter foods and watching my mother skillfully interlace them into her cooking, I knew I’d find good uses for the various chicories like curly endive, radicchio, frisee and escarole that I was encountering at the local markets.


The magic of spice blending is to create a dish where you don’t even realize you’re eating something bitter. Food such as bitter melon, endive or radicchio can be used judiciously and tempered with sweetness or creaminess so that the bitterness just adds an incredible depth of flavor. The ever-popular crab samosas at my former restaurant Indika always came with an endive salad and papaya chutney for balance.


These days, my cooking has evolved to a place of simplicity - and braising endive with something seasonal such as tomatoes, coconut or pomegranate juice makes for a delicious meal.

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Cook Time

20 Minutes



Step 1
Slice the endive heads in half lengthwise.
Step 2
In an 8 to 10-inch frying pan, heat the olive oil until it is just shy of smoking and pop the cumin seeds. Within 3 to 4 seconds add the minced garlic and the endive cut-side down. Sear on medium to high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, making sure to get a golden sear on the endive, but not to burn the garlic.
Step 3
Flip the endive over and sprinkle salt and serrano pepper and pour the coconut milk over it. Bring the coconut milk to a boil and lower the heat; cover the pan for 5 to 8 minutes. The endive should soften and cook through. Serve immediately garnished with herbs and pistachios.
3 heads Belgian endive
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 serrano pepper, diced with seeds
One 14-ounce can coconut milk
Herbs for garnish (such as cilantro, oregano, or mint)
Chopped pistachios for garnish

Notes & Variations

  • To make the endive more decadent, add a cup of heavy cream instead of coconut milk.
  • Add 4 ounces of tiny shrimp when adding the coconut milk for a touch of seafood.
  • This recipe also works well with cabbage. Cut cabbage into thick wedges.
20 Min

Let's braise it up!

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