Posts Tagged ‘spinach’

Saag (Indian Spiced Spinach)

Mmmm, we love saag. Here’s an easy recipe that only takes about 30-45 minutes total to prepare.

Ingredients
Oil or ghee — 2 tablespoons
Onion, chopped — 1
Garlic, minced — 6 cloves
Gingerroot, minced — 1 tablespoon
Coriander, ground — 2 teaspoons
Turmeric — 1/2 teaspoon
Cayenne pepper (optional) — 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon
Spinach, chopped — 1 pound
Water — 1 cup
Salt — 2 teaspoons
Yogurt — 1 cup
Cream (optional) — 1/4 cup

Method
Heat the oil or ghee in a large pot or saucepan over medium flame. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and spices and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the spinach, water and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.

Remove from heat, allow to cool a bit. Then use a blender or food processor to puree in batches.
Return the puree to the pot. Add a little water if necessary and simmer another 5-10 minutes.
Stir in yogurt and return to brief simmer and immediately remove from heat. Stir in the optional cream, adjust seasoning and serve.

4-6 servings

Variations
Saag, or Palak, Paneer (Spinach with fresh cheese): add 1/2 pound of paneer, cut into cubes, after pureeing the spinach. You may substitute tofu for the paneer if you can’t find paneer. Tofu is not an Indian ingredient, but it has a similar texture and flavor.

Jhinga Saag (Spinach with shrimp): add 1/2 pound peeled and deveined shrimp after pureeing the spinach. Simmer until the shrimp is just cooked through, 3-4 minutes.

Chana Saag (Spinach with chickpeas): add 1/2 pound cooked chickpeas after pureeing the spinach.

Saag Murgh (Spinach with chicken): add 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes, after pureeing the spinach. Simmer just until the chicken is cooked through.

Saag Aloo (Spinach with potatoes): add 1/2 pound cooked, cubed potatoes after pureeing the spinach.

You may use frozen or fresh spinach. Try substituting mustard or other greens.
A squeeze of lemon added at the end will brighten the flavor of this dish.

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Abundance of a New Season

Yesterday’s first pick up went off without much trouble. We didn’t have enough eggs for the eggshare folk, and everyone’s still getting oriented to our location and how the different sized shares work. My housemate Art was in charge of the pick up, since I was hosting a networking event for local businesses. He set up a great little tent, with signs, instructions, and even a “community chest” for swapping out veggies that people didn’t want or like.

I wasn’t sure how the community chest would work, since last year we saw how quickly one unwanted cabbage can turn into ten. (bet you didn’t know cabbage breeds like rabbits) We actually had to hide heads of cabbage if someone left one behind, because just one unwanted veggie gives permission for others to leave them, even if you’ve explicitely stated that’s a no-no. So we decided to provide a way for people to ensure the food doesn’t go to waste, expecting some trading and hoping that everything works out in the end. Apparently it’s all going to work out swell; yesterday a four year old little girl squealed with joy about the radishes left in the community chest; they got to take home two bunches. (how many four year olds squeal over radishes?)

The farm delivered extra boxes to help ensure that everyone got the right amount. Art combined these shares and went around to neighbors delivering free food. I’m not entirely sure what our neighbors think of us giving them free organic veggies, but I think they may be used to it by now. We have enough extra today that I’ll be heading over to SAME Cafe in Denver with lots of lettuce, rhubarb and herbs.

I need to post photos of the amazing spinach in our boxes, but I wanted to share my favorite way to deal with an abundance of spinach: saag. This recipe is the easiest I’ve found thus far, and there are many variations. I recommend experimenting with the mixture of spices until you find what suits your palate. The recipe calls for a pound of chopped spinach, and I haven’t yet worked out how much fresh spinach that is. Enjoy!