Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sindhi Sai Bhaji

Sai Bhaji literally translates to Spinach in Sindhi. But it really is a spinach stew that is healthy, a one-pot meal and relatively easy to make. It also makes a large batch so it’s worth the time. 
The photograph above doesn’t make it look very appetizing, and honestly, it isn’t the most delicious looking meal. But it is yum and hearty. 
Serves 4–6
  1. 1.Mix 3 tbsp chana daal (washed and soaked in warm water for 2 hours), 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1-inch piece of ginger, grated, 2 bunches of washed and chopped fresh spinach, 1 large handful of dill, 2 large tomatoes chopped, 1 large potato, cut into 1-inch cubes, 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1-inch cubes, 1 cup chopped eggplant (optional), 10 green beans, tops and tails cut off, strings removed, 1 large carrot, cut into 1-inch thick circles with 1 tsp coriander powder.
  2. 2.Add 1/2 cup water and cook covered or until the daal is done. There should not be too much water in the pot at this stage, and if there is, cook it uncovered until it is almost dry. While it cooks, check regularly and mix well. 
  3. 3.Smash the sai bhaji with a smasher until it forms a mushy texture (you do not want it entirely smooth). Refer to the above picture to get the consistency correct. 
  4. 4.Remove from heat and add salt to taste. Mix well. 
  5. 5.Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a small pan on medium heat. Add 1 tsp cumin seedsand 2–3 sliced green chilies to fry, followed by 5 cloves minced garlic (ensuring not to burn it). Fry until the spluttering stops and add it to the mixed vegetables, mix well.

    Sai Bhaji is usually had with roti, naan or rice. We make a pulao with fenugreek or dill weed to accompany it. I chose brown rice as a healthier option.

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