I started this post – which isn’t even very long – three days ago and I’m only now finding the time to finish it. What’s more, I ate this dinner a week ago! I’ve always written up and published posts the same day as I’ve eaten the meal in the past. Unfortunately, that’s how busy I’ve been lately. The good news is that after a slump of a couple of months, I’m getting excited about cooking again so you should be seeing more from me. Of course, on the other hand, it’s about to be baby wildlife season which means the small amount of free time I have now is about to go away. But there’s good news there too because baby wildlife season means tons of pictures of baby raccoons – and maybe, JUST MAYBE (cross your fingers!), baby skunks – to share.
Enough blabber. On with the food. One of my favorite Indian dishes is saag, or spinach and mustard greens, but it’s often made with paneer, which is cheese, in restaurants, which means I can’t have it. What’s a girl to do but make it at home, right? Here’s what I did.
All the “1/2 tsp”s below? Yeah, I just wrote “1/2 tsp” as a guess. I didn’t really measure any of the spices.
10 oz spinach, chopped fairly well
1 small bunch mustard greens, chopped fairly well
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1 heaping Tbsp grated garlic
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
3 dried chili peppers, lightly crumbled, or 1/4 tsp dried chili flakes
1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp asofoetida
dollop vegan plain yogurt or vegan sour cream
salt to taste
Heat some oil in a large pot or skillet (a wok would work well) over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and stir a bit. When they start to pop, turn the heat down and add the fenugreek and cumin seeds and cook, stirring, until the fenugreek is beginning to brown, then add the turmeric and asofoetida, then the onions, chilis, garlic, and ginger. Cook until the onions are translucent. Add the greens, in batches if you have to, letting some cook down a bit before adding another handful. Add a little bit of water if seems a little dry. Reduce heat, cover, and cook until the greens are soft. Salt to taste. Stir in a dollop of sour cream or yogurt (this is optional but adds a little bit of creamy tang that you’re not getting from the paneer that is so often added to this dish).
Here is the saag with some perfectly cooked basmati rice (thank you, rice cooker!).
Also served with chana masala and some naan. Yummy and makes for a good lunch the next day or two.
I came home well after dark most nights this week. Leaving work after the sun has set is always depressing to me, but it gets better when I come home and see this:
The fat one is Torticia and the prim one is Gomez. 🙂