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Monday, July 26, 2010

SAAG or COOKED GREENS: RECIPE SPINACH SAAG

SAAG or COOKED GREENS
The saag aloo you get in Indian restaurants is probably spinach and potatoes, but in Pakistan saag is made with mustard greens. However there are a lot of leafy green vegetables that can be substituted for mustard greens if they are unavailable. In Britain, they are used for animal fodder, so your supermarket probably won’t have any on the shelves.
amaranth leaves
You can use spring cabbage, or amaranth leaves, or Swiss or Italian chard. You can even pick your own dandelion leaves and use them. Whichever leafy green vegetable you choose, you should wash the leaves very thoroughly, so that there’s no dirt remaining. Wash in salted water, and change the water at least once. The type of leaves used in Pakistan varies from region to region: for example, in Lahore and the surrounding area, people use only mustard greens or spinach, while in Rawalpindi, people use the tops of mooli for a type saag. They also use faluda which is purslane, we finally discovered.  We often use fresh methi (fenugreek leaves which are available in Rawalpindi but again were not in Lahore) and spinach, which is a very tasty combination.
After you’ve washed the leaves, you need to cut them finely, so that they will soak up the butter, ghee or oil you cook them in more readily


SPINACH SAAG
Ingredients
1 kg spinach
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 inch piece of ginger root, finely chopped
6 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried methi (fenugreek leaves)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp garam masala (see recipe)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup oil



Method
Cook the spinach in 2 glasses water for 7 mins. Strain and discard the water, and blend.
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan, and add the garlic, ginger, cumin and thyme. Fry for 3 mins, then add the tomato, spinach, salt, pepper, methi, garam masala and turmeric with ½ glass water. Cook for 5 mins.
In a frying pan, heat the rest of the oil and put in the onion and green chillies and fry for 5 mins. Mix with the spinach. Stir well to mix thoroughly and serve.
This has Taste and is a Treat.



If you cook the spinach on its own, you can keep it in the fridge (covered) and use it any time you want to make saag.

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