Thursday, July 25, 2013

great Indian greens recipe here

This is adapted from one of my favorite Indian cookbooks - Curries Without Worries, by Sudha Koul. 

Because we grow so much of our food, I often get into recipes without the EXACT right ingredients, and I have to wing it to make it work.

This one works.

Sag Goshth -
the ingredients read: (parenthesis are all my comments)
10 oz package of fresh spinach (I never measure my spinach, and it's rarely my green of choice - chard, NZ spinach, and kale all work)
6 cups of water (or less)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped (or more if they're small - I've even used green onions in a pinch and it was wonderful)
4 cloves garlic
1 Tblsp chopped fresh ginger
2 Tbsp water
1/2 cup oil (I've used much less than this and had it work fine)
8 whole cloves
2 lbs lean lamb, such as lean sliced shoulder, cut into approximately 2" x 3" x 2" pieces (I don't grow lamb, but we do eat a lot of venison, which i've used in its place - however, i sliced mine quite thin to cut down the cooking time.  results were excellent - i suspect that you could use chicken, or probably even do this without meat at all if you wanted!)
2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped (in the winter, i use canned tomatoes - more than two)
1 tsp ground cayenne (use more or less as you like)
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 cinnamon stick, coarsely crushed (ground cinnamon is ok too - 1 tsp or more)
1/2 cup sour cream (homemade yoghurt is excellent here as well)
1/2 tsp cardamon seeds, crushed
salt to taste

Wash and drain spinach.  Place in a large pot with water.  Boil for three minutes.  Cool. 
Reserve greens and one cup liquid.  Puree in a blender or food processor and set aside.  (This really does need to be the first step to keep you from running into timing issues later.)

Puree onion, garlic, and ginger with 2 Tbsp water.   
In a 4 qt saucepan, heat oil on high.  Add cloves and onion puree.  Stir fry briskly for 2 minutes, until puree starts turning brown.  Add the meat and continue to fry 2 more minutes.  lower heat to medium high and continue frying until the meat starts to brown.  This takes a couple minutes.

Add tomatoes, cayenne, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, sour cream, cardamon and salt.  Stir fry well for a few seconds and bring to a boil.

Add the spinach puree.  Stir.  Reduce heat to lowest point.  Cover.  Cook until the meat is tender.  This should take about 45 minutes (unless you slice it thinner, then it takes almost no time and your dinner is earlier - yippee!).

Even our kids love this dish.  It's worth the effort.  I hope you think so too.

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