Meeting them after 1 1/2 year was a treat!!! I spent the first week talking, non-stop, at all odd hours of the day/ night (like 4:00 am on the first day of their arrival) and on a volume that threatened to shatter the window panes !! Thankfully the battery ran low after the first week and now I am back to (as) normal as I can get! Their ear drums are safe and my Father sighs with relief! He confesses himself astounded at my capacity and energy to talk SO much (this is after regularly talking to them on the phone for at least 30-45 mins everyday 'to plan' their trip here).
My Mother had this opportunity to make one of my favorites last night, thanks to the fresh bunch of Methi/ Fenugreek I found in the Indian stores! The very sight of that fresh bunch sitting on the shelf was enough to make me pounce on it and grab it, sadly just one was available... well, something is better than ajibaat (ajibaat is a Marathi word for absolutely) nothing...
It goes well with chapati, bhakri and rice (heck I even eat it with whole wheat bread!)
So without further ado, here's my Ma's first presentation on my blog:
2 Bunches Palak / Spinach
1 Bunch Fresh Methi/ Fenugreek leaves
1/2 cup Cooked Moong/ Toovar (arhar) Daal
2 Heaped tbsp. Besan
Marble sized ball of Tamarind (soaked and pulp removed)
Jaggery (twice the quantity of the Tamarind)
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Oil
2 cups water
For the Tadka (tempering)
2-3 tbsp. oil
1 tsp Mustard seeds
4 cloves of Garlic, sliced
4 dry Red Chilies
1 -2 Green Chilies ( sliced lengthwise)(+ / - to taste or how hot the chili is)
1/2 tsp Turmeric
a few curry leaves (if you can get them)
Do the prep.Wash thoroughly and chop the spinach and fenugreek leaves (use only leaves if you wish to avoid the slightly bitter taste fenugreek tends to impart, otherwise a small stalk is OK. Cook the daal and mash it slightly. soak the tamarind in warm water, squeeze out the pulp and discard the solids ( you can also use ready made tamarind pulp)
Heat 1 tbs. oil in a wok / kadhai, add the chopped spinach and fenugreek, cover and let it cook.Once the greens are thoroughly cooked, mash them slightly and add the Besan, mix well to avoid lumps. Add in the cooked daal, Tamarind pulp, Jaggery and salt. Add about 2 cups of water and let the mixture cook well.
Tadka: Heat Oil, add the mustard seeds, after they pop add the sliced garlic and cook till they turn golden . Add the green and red chilli pieces. Lastly add the turmeric. Pour this over the vegetable mixture. Mix thoroughly and cook for 2 mins. to incorporate the flavor of the tempering.
Serve hot with chapati, bhakri, rice.
- Usually Toovar (arhar) Daal is used, but since it is acidic in nature, Yellow Moong Daal makes an excellent substitute without compromising on the taste.
- This vegetable is semi solid in consistency. After cooling down it becomes slightly solid so you might want to add extra water if re-heating.