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Categories: Sides, Vegetarian

Spinach in a Medley of Vegetables and Legumes (Sai Bhaji)

The rhythmic chanting and the tabla beat, heightened by a heady aroma of jasmine and cardamom, took me back to my summer holidays in Bombay at my grandmother's home. Stirring in her magic along with sugar, ghee and cream of ... Read more

Total time: 1 1/2 hours | Serves 8
Note: Serve this with basmati rice, cucumber-yogurt raita and pappadums. Channa dal (yellow lentils) and dried fenugreek can be found at Indian markets.
  • 1/2 cup channa dal (yellow lentils)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger root, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bunch spinach, chopped
  • 1 potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 eggplant, chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 serrano peppers, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 sprig mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons dried fenugreek
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish

Step 1Soak the channa dal in enough water to cover for 1 hour.

Step 2Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the ginger and garlic, and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add the spinach, potato, carrot, eggplant, tomatoes, onion, serranos and drained channa dal. Add the water, turmeric, mint, coriander, fenugreek and salt to taste and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer the mixture until the dal is soft, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Step 3Using an immersion blender, mash the vegetables and dal until blended, but so that you have some bits of vegetables and whole dal left. Do not puree. The dish should be creamy. (Mama always used an old-fashioned wooden churner-type of a beater and later moved onto a manual beater. I prefer a hand-held electric mixer). Add the lemon juice and stir well. Garnish with the cilantro.

Each serving:
114 calories; 101 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 6 grams fat; 14 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams protein; 3.34 grams fiber.
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