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Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Haak (greens)

Haak (greens)
Los Angeles Times

A heavenly Himalayan valley, a beautiful couple, the perfect hour as augured by the horoscopes, mesmerizing mystical music, a sublimely delicious banquet -- and voila! It's a Hindu wedding in Kashmir. Or, rather, it used to be. Sadly, Hindus in ... Read more

Total time: About 30 minutes | Serves 4
  • 2 pounds Chinese broccoli (gai lan)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida
  • 6 dried red chiles (such as chiles de arbol, chiles japones or Thai red chiles)
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch baking soda

Step 1Rinse and drain the Chinese broccoli. Remove the flowers. Keep the leaves whole and remove the tough part of the stalk. Wash the leaves, then drain and set aside.

Step 2In a heavy 6- or 8-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add the asafetida and sizzle for just a minute, until aromatic.

Step 3Add the dried chiles, one-half teaspoon salt, the baking soda and 3 cups of water. Bring to a rolling boil. Add the greens, stir well and cook over medium-high heat until done, about 10 minutes. Season again to taste if desired, drain excess liquid (through a colander or strainer) and discard. Serve immediately.

Note: Asafetida is available at Surfas in Culver City, Le Sanctuaire in Santa Monica and many Indian markets. Chinese broccoli is available at Whole Foods and 99 Ranch stores and some farmers markets. The greens should retain their color; this is accomplished with by adding a pinch of baking soda and by not covering the saucepan while cooking.

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