This seems to be a series of recipes using vegetables that I never tried out before or dishes that I have tried out for the very first time. Many of these dishes are what I've grown up eating. Some of course are totally new to me. This dish is technically known as "Vaali and Daali ghalnu Sambare" which roughly translates into Sambare with Vaali (Malabar/Ceylon Spinach; Tamil = Pasalai Keerai; Telugu = Bachali Koora; Hindi = Poi ka Saag) and Daali (Dal, which in konkani dishes is always Toor Dal). Sambare is a sambar like dish. One more complex name for all of you to get used to.
Pasalai Keerai is what was sold in Madras for many, many years as Palak. I remember that Palak (Spinach) was not easily available in Madras and many vegetable vendors would try to pass off this as Palak to an innocent teenager (a.k.a. me). For years I hunted for the real Palak and was thrilled whenever I could lay my hands on a bunch or two. Now, it is the exact opposite. We get enough and more Palak here and I was very thrilled when I found Pasalai Keerai at my local vegetable vendor's. In all enthusiasm, I made this Sunday favourite. The picture does no justice whatsoever and since I haven't had a chance to make this again, I'll have to make do with this picture.
1 bunch Malabar Spinach, cleaned and chopped
1/2 cup Toor Dal
3-4 tbsp Coconut, scraped
1 tbsp Tamarind Paste
2-3 Red Chillies
1 1/2 tsp Coriander Seeds
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
2 1/2 tsp Oil
3-4 cloves Garlic, crushed
Salt to taste
Cook the dal and the spinach along with the salt in a pressure cooker.
In a small frying pan or kadhai, heat 1 tsp of oil and fry the red chillies and the coriander seeds. Grind this along with the coconut, turmeric and tamarind to a fine paste. Add this masala to the cooked dal-spinach mixture and bring to a boil.
In a frying ladle, heat the remaining oil and prepare a tempering of garlic. Add this to the sambare.
If you're looking for a no onion/garlic version, you could use this tempering:
1 tsp Cooking Oil
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
½ tsp Asafoetida (Hing)
7-8 Curry Leaves
In a frying ladle, heat the oil and add the mustard. When the mustard splutters, add the asafoetida and turn off the flame. Add the curry leaves. Fry for a minute and add this to the boiling mixture.
Enjoy this with some hot rice and ghee. A perfect meal for a lazy Sunday lunch.Off this goes to my dear friend, Sra, as she hosts this month's edition of My Legume Love Affair, Susan's initiative.