The countdown begins with a bang: Recipe #40 is Sandeepa's sarson da saag, something I bookmarked just yesterday both for the recipe and for her discussion of the now formalized practice of "unfriending" (read her post to find out more).
I was intrigued to find that instead of the usual mustard greens, she used its cousin broccoli rabe (pic below) to make sarson da saag. This is a flavorful Punjabi dish that makes it to Indian restaurant menus across the globe and as usual, sparks off restaurant envy in me.
My history with broccoli rabe gave me pause. I remember buying it years ago, sauteeing it and making a quick pasta with it, and having to throw the whole thing into the trash because it was too bitter for words. Well, today I gave it a second chance. Using Sandeepa's recipe (given to her by a kind acquaintance), I made sarson da saag that knocked my socks off.
See the original recipe here. Here's how I made the Sarson da Saag:
1. Take ½ large bunch of broccoli rabe. Wash and coarsely chop it to get about 6-8 cups in all (only remove the toughest part of the stems, the rest can be used).
2. Pressure cook the broccoli rabe with 1.5 cups water. 1 whistle worked fine for me.
3. When the cooker is cool enough to open, stir in 1 package frozen spinach and 1 heaped tbsp. besan (chickpea flour) into the cooked broccoli rabe. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture.
4. In another large pan, heat 1 tbsp. oil and fry 2 large chopped onions until brown. Add 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste and stir for a minute or two.
5. Add salt, turmeric, red chilli powder, all to taste and stir for a few seconds.
6. Add 1 cup tomato puree and fry well for a few minutes.
7. Add the pureed greens, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
8. Add a pinch of garam masala right after you turn off the heat.
I did not have tofu or paneer on hand, so I stirred in a package of mock chicken strips (gluten strips) at the end. Because this was a Saturday night dinner where splurges are allowed, I added a dab of butter and a splash of cream at the very end. This recipe was an unqualified success- we loved the pleasant bitterness of the greens and the warmth of the spices. This made about 6 large servings.
In conclusion, I'm friending you, Broccoli Rabe. As long as you don't get too bitter, I won't dream of unfriending you. txt me, k?
By the way, speaking of buzzwords, going green, the title of this post, is on the list of overused words/phrases that some people want to banish this year.
Dale got a very very special gift this Diwali, a red scarf with the prettiest paisley design. He wore it proudly on his walks...
and I think he wants to say something:
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!