Spinach, swiss chard, methi plus cilantro and dill are growing so much, they are getting big and out of control in my garden. So, I plucked all the excesses and with that garden greens bounty, prepared sag paneer for lunch today. The following recipe is a tad different from the classic recipe blogged here in 2005. Instead of cashew powder, I’ve added carrot pulp to thicken the sag gravy and to add some sweetness to the greens. With carrot and paneer, garden greens never tasted this shiny-sweet before. It’s a good recipe if you have greens’ surplus.
Sag Paneer with Garden Greens
(for 6 to 8 servings)
1 bunch each – spinach, swiss chard and methi – coarsely chopped
1/2 cup each – cilantro and dill leaves – coarsely chopped
8 Guntur green chillies
1 carrot – sliced to chunks
1 red onion and 1 ripe tomato – finely chopped
1 cup or to taste – paneer cubes
1 teaspoon – ginger-garlic paste
1 tablespoon – cumin-coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon – turmeric
Salt to taste
1. In a wide pan, heat a tablespoon of peanut oil. Add the greens and green chillies. Saute until the leaves collapse and chillies soften. Turn off the heat and let the greens cool. Once they reach room temperature, take the sauteed greens and chillies in a food processor. Add a pinch of salt and pulse to coarse puree. Remove the mix to a bowl. In the same food processor, add carrot pieces and make super fine puree, adding water when necessary.
2. Wipe the pan clean and add another tablespoon of peanut oil. When oil is hot, add a pinch each – cumin and mustard seeds. When they start to pop, add the onion and tomato pieces. Saute until they soften , then stir in the garden greens and carrot puree. Add ginger-garlic paste, cumin-coriander powder, turmeric and salt. Mix well. Add the paneer cubes. Cover the pan and on medium heat, let simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve the sag paneer warm with rice or roti. Tastes good on its own as well.
Garden Sag Paneer with Rotis ~ for Bhojanam
Fresh fennel not only tastes great, on research I found that fresh fennel is low in calories, contains beta carotene and foliate. It is good for digestion and has a calming effect on the stomach. All the above makes fresh fennel a power food in my food dictionary. Needless to say I am enjoying being a follower to fresh fennel flavor. And, this is what I have made for dinner today with fresh fennel bulb purchased from last weekend grocery trip.
I paired the fennel with spinach and sun dried tomatoes. Pasta is the carbohydrates. Chickpeas and almond butter filled the protein need. I omitted the routine pasta fare, tomato sauce, oregano etc, instead experimented by adding some traditional Bharath masala. Fennel looked like it was in turmeric heaven and the meal tasted light and delightful.
Fennel Farfalle Pasta
(for 2 to 4 servings for main meal)
1 tablespoon, peanut oil
1/4 teaspoon, fennel seeds
2 garlic cloves, skin peeled, sliced thinly
1 onion, sliced thinly
1 fennel bulb
4 cups of spinach, coarsely chopped
8 sundried tomatoes, sliced thinly
1/2 cup, cooked chickpeas
1 tablespoon, almond butter
1 teaspoon each – garam masala powder and red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon, turmeric
salt to taste
2 cups, farfalle pasta
Cut the fennel bulb in half. Remove the outer layer and hard core. Slice the fennel into thin strips. Cut and prepare garlic, onion, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes, until just tender.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wide pan. Add the fennel seeds and garlic. Toast to fragrance. Add the onion and fresh fennel. Saute for five minutes on moderate heat to pleasant pink color. Add the spinach, sundried tomatoes and chickpeas. Saute, stirring frequently, until the leaves collapse.
Add the cooked pasta and about half cup of water pasta simmered in. Stir in the almond butter, garam masala powder, red pepper flakes, turmeric and salt. Mix well and cook on low heat for another five minutes. Serve the fennel farfalle immediately.
Fennel Farfalle ~ for Bhojanam Today
Tella Mandaram (White Hibiscus) from Front Yard
Sprouted moong + sprouted chickpeas combined with generous amounts of ginger, green chilli, cumin and salt, ground into smooth batter. The batter is then made into dosa. I had one dosa for breakfast with tomato chutney.
A glass of ragi ganji without sweetener
Sprouted moong + sprouted chickpea dosa
A cup of palak chole
A small cup of cucumber and carrot slices
A glass of ginger buttermilk
1 sprouted moong + sprouted chickpea dosa
A small cup of palak chole
A glass of tomato soopa (rasam)
A glass of cold ginger buttermilk
Made another batch of biyyam vadiyalu for Sun-drying in the morning
Pillow covers are done and now on to curtains sewing project – evening
Busy but beautiful day. No carbo cravings and reduced appetite.
2 cups – cooked (or canned) chickpeas (Chole)
6 cups – chopped fresh spinach (Palak)
1 onion and 1 tomato- finely chopped
1×1 inch piece – fresh ginger, skin peeled
2 tablespoons – chana masala powder
1/2 teaspoon – salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon each – turmeric and red chilli powder
1/4 cup each – fresh cilantro and lemon juice to garnish
From masala dabba: tadka ingredients
Step 1: Take quarter cup of cooked or canned chickpeas in a mixer. Add ginger and blend to fine paste. Remove the paste to a cup and keep aside. (This is added to thicken the chole gravy.)
Step 2: Heat a tablespoon of peanut oil in a deep pan. Add and toast a teaspoon each – cumin, black cumin and kasuri methi to fragrance. Add onion and tomato. Saute to soft. Next goes the spinach. Saute spinach until it has collapsed. Add chickpeas, chickpea-ginger paste, chana masala powder, salt, red chilli powder and turmeric. Add about two cups of water. Mix well. Cover and simmer on medium heat, stirring in-between for 15 to 20 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and lemon juice, and serve warm with rice or roti. Good on it’s own too.
Palak Chole for Meal Today
© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari.