November 10, 2006
My kitchen is soon going to be a hotbed of pure beauty and I’m not talking about the aloo gobi, tarka dhal and saag aloo I’ll be cooking.
In a fit of madness I invited my colleagues from our consumer PR division home for a live cookery session and dinner party.
I say madness because a) there are 7 of them and b) all seven aren’t exactly renowned for their culinary prowess. These girls are also all, and I mean all, stunningly gorgeous, stick thin and super sweet.
I think I’ll just go and be sick now.
Anyway, on the subject of saag aloo. My Iranian colleague Natasha requested it for the live demonstration. I’ve never eaten this in India buts it’s a hugely popular Indian vegetarian dish in the UK.
I wouldn’t naturally put the two most bland ingredients together – potatoes and spinach. But then once the masalas get going, that’s when the fun begins for a lot of Indian dishes – like lentils for example.
So as a trial run, I decided to cook saag aloo for the first time and get my recipe ready for the girlies. I had to be conscious that they don’t own high-tech kitchen gadgets like blenders or garlic presses when assembling the dish.
There’s a different version of the same dish with paneer here, but my recipe to serve 3-4 is as follows:
350 gms of pureed spinach (I used a tin)
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
1 fresh green chilli, chopped fine
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
Half tsp garam masala
1 tablespoon oil (any flavourless)
Salt to taste
Heat the oil and when hot fry the garlic and the green chilli. Take care not to let the garlic stick to the bottom of the pan adding a bit of hot water if necessary.
When the garlic starts going brown, add the cumin and coriander. Stir for two minutes and chuck all the potatoes in. Fry for a couple of minutes until you see the sides of the potatoes going translucent.
Then stir in the spinach, mixing the masala into it evenly. Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes stirring regularly.
Stir in the garam masala powder and simmer for another two minutes or so. Add salt to taste. It was actually quite satisfying – tasty and healthy. Hope they agree..