Saag, saag, saag, I love it. It’s my go to order at any Indian restaurant. It’s become my adult comfort food in the same way that grilled cheese and tomato soup was in my childhood. I’ve been trying to figure out how to make it at home, and to make it kapha pacifying (which is what I need right now).
I have a habit of finding something I like and then eating it for ages until I finally get sick of it. Then I have to rotate off for a while, enjoying something else before I come back around to it. These days I’ve been working on a kapha balancing saag. Perfect for what I need to be balancing for myself and perfect for kapha season.
I leave out the more traditional paneer and cream to lighten it up a bit to pacify kapha. Feel free to add some if it’s your desire.
Our local co op has their own garden and their spinach is ready. It has such a fantastic smell. Like real food. It reminds me of being in the garden back home. I can’t wait to have a garden again.
Fresh spinach in the pot
Combination of split mung dal and basmati rice in a separate pot
Add water to the rice/dal mixture- if possible let it soak for a few hours, then boil and simmer on low until done
Add boiling water to cover the spinach in pot. Cover and let it sit for a few minutes to blanch the spinach
Water on the spinach.
Meanwhile chop up some ginger. There’s fresh turmeric at our Co op right now so I add some of that too (instead of adding powdered later on)
Finely chopped onion
After about 5 minutes strain the spinach into a colander and put in a bowl with ice water (I get lazy here, I just put it in the colander and run cold water on it, shhhh don’t tell anyone) doesn’t it look fantastic? I love spinach. Have I mentioned how good it smells?!
In the pot that had the spinach melt some ghee ( I keep a bit of water in the pot to ensure the oil does not get to too high a temperature) and add cumin and fennel seeds, let fry for a couple minutes
Add the onion, continue to fry until the onion has turned kind of translucent
Meanwhile put the ginger, turmeric and spinach in a blender and whirr it all up until it’s completely blended (you may need to add a bit of water)
Here are the onions all done and ready for the next step
Add some chopped up fresh tomato. It’s March in Virginia and we have 6 inches of snow outside. There are no good tasting tomatoes, I’ve been using these ones by Muir Glen
stir it all in and let simmer a minute or so
Add the spinach mix into the pot – pretty green isn’t it?
Add some spices – here I’m using garlic, and a curry spice. We were snowed in and I had to use what was available. Normally I’d have made a kapha churna to add in
Here it is all done. I added some pumpkin seeds on top. I made this before my yoga class and put it in the warming oven for 2 hours. It tasted much better with the long slow low cook.
I’m bad at exact measurements but here’s what went into one serving
1/4 cup basmati rice
1/8 cup split mung beans
1 3/4 cup water
(those things I actually do measure)
These go in the separate pot. Bring to a boil then simmer 20-30 minutes until done. Soak the mung beans first in water
3 or so big handfuls of spinach. Remember it shrinks up to nothing when it cooks
2-3 tablespoons of onion (I like onion, you could use less)
2 tablespoons of canned tomatoes. In the summer I’d use one smallish tomato
1 tablespoon kapha churna (in this case since i didn’t have the ingredients for it – I used a tsp cumin and a tsp curry and a pinch of garlic)
Big pinch of fennel, big pinch of cumin
1/2-1 tsp ghee
little nub of ginger, smaller one of turmeric – do it to taste.
I am going to grocery shop tomorrow. I will make the kapha churna and post it then
My happiness moment on day 41 of the 44 days of happiness came this morning. Jenna has a sleep over tonight and decided that instead of going to buy a bag or wrapping paper that she would sew a bag to put her present in. She sat at the table and figured out all by herself how to put this bag together. She even put on a handle for easier carrying. It brought me such joy to see her sitting enjoying herself while learning a new skill. I was so proud of her – but mostly so happy that I got to be there enjoying the process with her. She’s pretty awesome.
(she was happier than she looks in the picture….)