Its spring time, folks. Green is the color everywhere :). Even when its not spring, green color and greens grace our kitchen prominently and very rightly so. Packed with minerals and fiber, they symbolize flavor and health packed in one. So, it no surprise that this month's featured ingredient at JFI is GREENS :). JFI this month is being hosted by Indira (Mahanandi, the founder of JFI) and joins hands with Nandita's Weekend breakfast blogging WBB. I am excited, for i love greens and myself very keenly use greens in breakfast.
I had been wondering for many days as to which greens should i choose for my entry! its really a tough choice, i love them all. Equally confusing was which recipe should i use the greens for! Greens are so versatile that you could dish out a whole meal with greens: soups and starters, main course.....ah! the choices seemed endless. I decided therefore to just head for the grocery store and pick out the first bunch of fresh greens that came my way :) That easy :)). and that green was the pretty, gorgeous looking red chard :). That made it even easier! I use red-chard in Indian cooking in every way possible. And then i also thought to cook something with whatever greens were there in my fridge :). Palak or Spinach was the first thing that i found. Today, i'll share these very simple recipes. So lets enjoy the green cooking: Red chard-aloo sabzi and parantha, followed by palak-kadhi and palak-matar-gajar sabzi.
For the red chard-aloo sabzi, we need:
- 1 bunch red chard (rainbow and regular chard also do equally well)
- 2 small potatoes
- 1 small onion (chopped finely)
- 1/2 tsp. jeera/cumin
- Turmeric (a pinch) and red chilli powder (to taste)
- Salt to taste
- Garam masala (to taste)
- 1 tsp. oil
Wash and chop the red chard. Keep the stalks, one can use them to make baked munchies. Wash, peel and chop the potatoes. In hot oil, splutter the jeera and then saute the chopped onions. At this step you can add one small roma tomato (chopped) if you wish to. Now add the chopped greens and potatoes and stir. The huge mass of chopped greens is gonna' become very small when you cook them :). Add a pinch of turmeric and red chilli powder and stir again. Add salt, stir on high heat for about 4-5 minutes. You don't need to add any water, the greens have plenty of water. Cover the pan and cook on low heat till done. Garnish with garam masala and serve hot with phulkas, paranthas or rice n' daal combo. The sabzi looks very pretty with the red and green hues gracing the platter......even the potatoes assumes a pretty red tone.
Did i mention that this is one of the favorite sabzis of my dear friend Golden Girl :). I served this sabzi with chapatis and Masoor daal, cooked in Bengali style (recipe coming up, and that is a favorite of another very dear friend, MD).
But hold on, this is also supposed to be about breakfast, weekend breakfast! so, we aren't done yet :)). And what do we make for breakfast-my favorite, paranthas :)). Paranthas with what, you ask. How about using some of Mom's wisdom and using this delicious sabzi as a filling for paranthas :). Moms love to make stuffed paranthas out of sabzis left over from dinner, and they also know that this surely is one way in which their lil' ones would have their vegetables and greens.
For stuffed paranthas:
Make the dough with whole wheat, salt to taste, ajwain (Carum) and water. Rest the dough for 15-20 minutes. Use the sabzi we prepared (or for that matter any dry sabzi) to make stuffed paranthas, using the two layered style :). Make the sandwich of rolled-out pooris like shown below, dust with flour and roll into a nice parantha. Cook on hot griddle/tawa: i usually fry with a lil' oil or ghee. But the low fat option of just cooking it as a chapati is always there. Enjoy the paranthas with masala chai, achaar, dahi, raita or just by themselves :).
And i see folks, you are all thinking that i am repeating myself.....kadhi again!! for JFI!! how could i not blog about this-it tastes so amazingly good.....palak, amaranth, chard, cilantro.....koi bhi patta chalega ji (any leaves are good)! So, here goes:
- Chopped greens (i used a 9 ounce pack of baby spinach)
- 1/2 onion (chopped long)
- Ginger (chopped, to taste)
- 1 small tomato (chopped, roma tomatoes are good for this)
- 1 and 1/2 cup buttermilk or beaten curd (preferably sour)
- 2 and 1/2 tbsp. besan (gram flour)
- /2 tsp. each of jeera and dhaniya (cumin and coriander) seeds
- 1/4 tsp. each of methi-dana (Fenugreek seeds) and kalonji (Nigella seeds)
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp. oil
- Turmeric and chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp. Garam masala
So, lets heat the oil, spultter the seeds: first the cumin-coriander combo fllowed by kalonji and methi-dana. Saute the onions till golden brown and the saute the ginger. Add the chopped spinach and tomatoes and stir till the greens are cooked a bit and reduce in volume. (Meanwhile, we also prepare the besan-curd mix. Beat the mix well to prevent any clumps). Add the turmeric, chilli powder and salt to the cooked green, stir again and cook for 5 minutes more. Now reduce the flame and slowly add the besan-curd mix. Continue stirring to prevent any curdling. Add more water (1/2 cup or so) and bring the kadhi to a boil. Cook on low heat, the kadhi should become a lil' thicker. Garnish with garam masala and serve hot with rice or your choice.
We are still not done, we have to make the palak-matar-gajar (spinach-peas-carrots) sabzi.
- Chopped spinach (16 ounce pack of spinach)
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 1 big tomato (chopped)
- 1 carrot (chopped)
- 1 cup peas
- 1/2 tsp jeera (cumin)
- Turmeric and red chilli powder to taste
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp. melted ghee
- 1/4 tsp. garam masala
So, be good and have your greens :)