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There were never any "good old days" — they are today, they are tomorrow
recipe: Lexi's Achari Saag-Mattar 
6th-Jul-2008 01:08 pm
food, Bascove peaches
Dinner last night was lemon rice, leftover Gujarati-style dal, and a vegetable dish put together from "hmm, what do we have in the pantry and freezer?" Adapted from a recipe for achari aloo, ruthlessly and brutally de-authenticized for your convenience and enjoyment. *grin*

Lexi's Achari Saag-Mattar (Achari-spiced spinach and peas)
Spinach and peas cooked with the spices that make a typical north Indian pickle, or achar
Category: Pantry-Plus On Ice

2 T oil (I recommend grapeseed)

3/4 t rai (black mustard seed)
1/2 t jeera (whole cumin seed)
4 cloves
2 elaichi (cardamom)
1/2 t kalonji (Nigella sativa, love-in-a-mist, "onion seeds")
1/2 t methi (fenugreek seed)
1/8 t hing (asafoetida, optional but highly recommended)
2-3 dried red chiles

2 medium onions, sliced thinly longitudinally (pole-to-pole, not along the equator)

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t minced ginger
(or 2 t ginger-garlic paste if you have it on hand (which we didn't (but I didn't realize until it was too late to be mincing things (so I left it out (so this part is obviously optional)))))

1/2 package frozen spinach
1/2 package frozen peas (in both cases, ours came from TJ's)


Heat oil over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add spices, cover with splatter shield (or lid, or something — srsly, or you will have mustard seeds all over your kitchen — but a splatter shield is preferable because it won't trap steam and allow it to fall back into the hot oil), swirl to distribute spices throughout the oil, and cook until the mustard seeds stop popping.

Add onions and cook, stirring very frequently, until they begin to turn golden brown.

Add ginger-garlic paste and cook, stirring, for another minute or two. (Or, realize that you don't actually have any on hand the way you thought you did, shrug, and move on to the next step.)

Add spinach and peas and cook, stirring regularly, until done to taste.

Variation I want to try next time: stir in drained yogurt to give it a creamy quality.

Pirate voted it quite snarfworthy.
7th-Jul-2008 02:21 am (UTC)
*blinks* Only two cardamom pods? But.. but.. after the chef has fished hers out and eaten them, that leaves negative two left for the main course...
7th-Jul-2008 05:18 pm (UTC)
Oh, cardamom junkies are certainly encouraged to increase the number of pods used. (Says the woman whose lemon rice generally has twice as much urad dal as the recipe calls for...)
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