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Monday, 2 March 2015

Sai Bhaji (Spinach-Chana Dal-Veggies Curry - Sindhi Cuisine)

          This is a simple, traditional Sindhi style dal recipe cooked with chana dal (Bengal Gram Lentil), spinach, fenugreek leaves and eggplants. Other veggies and greens too can be added. As I just had spinach, methi and eggplants available, I made use of them to make it. A wholesome and a nutritious treat. It is had with some Sindhi pulao, paratha or chapatti.

          There are various methods of preparing this delectable dish and this happens to be my version. Chopped tomatoes and tamarind juice can be added to give it a tangy flavour. Otherwise, make use of lime juice to attain the taste as I did so in this recipe. A little bit of ghee along with oil for the tempering adds to the ultimate flavour. So check for a step by step method with pictures to prepare it.

  • 2 bunches spinach, washed, rinsed & chopped
  • 1 cup methi leaves (fenugreek), chopped
  • 1/2 cup chana dal (Bengal gram lentil), soaked for 30 minutes
  • 2 eggplants, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1" ginger, grated
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1-2 green chilies, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder or to taste
  • 1 tsp. roasted coriander powder
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. ghee
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste 
  • coriander leaves, fresh chilly & sliced lime to garnish

          Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan and add the onion, ginger, half of the garlic and chilies. Saute till light brown in colour. Add the chopped eggplants and saute for 2 minutes on medium flame.

          Now add the chopped greens, turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt to taste and coriander powder. Saute for 2-3 minutes till well combined.

          Add the soaked chana dal and 1 cup water. Pressure cook for 6-7 whistles. Mix well and mash it up slightly. Transfer it to a serving bowl.

          Heat the remaining oil and ghee. Add the cumin seeds and saute for a few seconds. Add the asafoetida and the remaining chopped garlic. Saute till it changes colour.

          Add the tomato paste and saute for a few more seconds. Pour over the prepared Sai Bhaji and serve, garnished with coriander leaves, lime and fresh chily.

                 Spinach, Fenugreek leaves, soaked chana dal, onion, ginger, garlic, green chilies 
                 and chopped eggplants.

                 Turmeric powder, roasted coriander powder, asafoetida, red chili powder, cumin
                  seeds & tomato paste.

                  Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan  and saute the onions, ginger, half of the garlic and 
                  green chilies till  light brown.

                               Add the chopped eggplants and saute for 2 minutes.

                                Add the spinach and fenugreek leaves.

                           Add the turmeric powder, red chili powder, roasted coriander powder
                           and salt.

                                Add the soaked chana dal and 1 cup water.

                                Pressure cook for 6-7 whistles.

                               Mash it up slightly.

                  Heat oil and ghee and temper with cumin seeds, asafoetida, remaining chopped
                  garlic and tomato paste.

                                Pour the tempering on the prepared dal and serve.

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