Saag aloo

Yield: 3 servings

Measure Ingredient
16 ounces Spinach, chopped; drained
½ pounds Potatoes; cut in chunks
2 tablespoons Ghee
1 medium Onion; sliced into thin strips
3 tablespoons ;Water
6 Peppercorns, black; crushed coarsely
2 Cloves of cardamom (elaichi); crushed
1 teaspoon Ground coriander
1 teaspoon Cumin powder
1 Garlic clove; crushed
1 Inch Ginger, fresh; peeled & cut into small matchsticks
1 Fresh red chili, seeded & finely shredded
Salt
Almonds; blanched, slivered
Cashews
Mushrooms, sliced; added with the onions
From: prem@prem.lbl.gov (Prem!)
found on rec.food.recipes
Stephanie da Silva (arielle@taronga.com),

SPICES & FLAVORINGS

GARNISHES

Soak the potato chunks in a small bowl full of water until you need to use them.

Heat ghee/oil in the saucepan on medium-low heat. When oil is hot, reduce heat to low; add the crushed peppercorns, cardamom seeds and almonds/cashews and saute gently for 2-3 minutes.

Add the chili, ginger, onion and garlic to the saucepan and raise heat to medium. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes, stirring lightly to prevent browning or burning.

Stir in the spices and salt and mix well. Drain the potato chunks and add them (without the water). Stir vigorously as you turn the heat up, until potatoes are half baked and are covered thoroughly with the rest of the stuff. (you can add a little turmeric too at this point, though it isn't essential).

Reduce heat back to medium and add about 2 tablespoons of water.

Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, stirring occassionally.

Gently stir in the spinach and simmer for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Add a small quantity of water if necessary.

Don't add too much water. This is a moist dish, not a liquid one.

Cover it. Turn the heat off. It's done.

VERY IMPORTANT:

====================================================================== WAYS IN WHICH YOU CAN SCREW UP: The intensity of heat you use to cook is crucial. So follow the guidelines exactly. When in doubt, be conservative and use low heat, it will just take a few more minutes, that's all.

Adding too much water will ruin it.

NOTES:

Total time required is about 45 minutes. Less if you already have the ingredients ready for another accompanying dish.

Quite inexpensive, even if you add the almonds and cashews and the fancy geegaws.

VARIATIONS:

As already mentioned, replace cumin powder with fennel seeds for a Moghlai taste.

You can add a few fresh green peas to the equation. If you are using fresh or dried peas, soak them accordingly and add early. If you're using frozen peas, you can add them after the potatoes.

You can sprinkle a very small pinch of masala towards the end of the process, though I prefer not to, since masala can overpower the other flavours.

Squeeze a lemon (or some concentrate) just before serving, or offer a few slices of lemon individually on the side.

Add some paneer/feta cheese chunks, or even tofu while sauteing.

Puree all or part of the spinach in a blender.

If you plan to use this as filling for lasagna, either cut the potatoes into small pieces or replace them altogether with peas.

moderator Submitted By SAM WARING On 06-07-95

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