August 30, 2008

Sai Bhaji: a Sindhi staple

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I spent a few weeks in Mumbai this summer and had a great time eating out - brunch at Basilico (Colaba), lunch at Samovar, late-night (2 a.m.!) dinner at Zaffran, and many others. But the two best meals I had were at a friend's home where his mom had prepared a number of delicious Sindhi dishes. And I ended up liking one particular dish so much - Sai Bhaji, a hearty dish of greens, vegetables, and some lentils - that aunty very kindly included it in the menu the next time I showed up for lunch! I got the recipe from her, promising to try it out and report the results on Ahaar.

A big "thank you!'" to aunty! - it turned out very well and I'm sure we'll make this again sometime soon!

Ingredients:
1 bunch swiss chard (or spinach)
1 small onion
1-inch piece of ginger (grated)
6 cloves of garlic (3 cloves grated and 3 cloves finely cut for frying for garnish)
4 tbsp chana dal
1 brinjal
2 carrots
2 tomatoes
1/2 butternut squash (instead of white pumpkin that aunty used)
1/2 tspoon turmeric powder
1/2 tspoon chilli powder
Salt to taste
1 tbspoon oil

Method:
In a pressure cooker, heat 2 tspoon oil and saute grated ginger, garlic and the chopped onion. To this, add 4 tbspoons of chana dal that has been soaked for about 2 hours. Then add the pieces of butternut squash, brinjal, and carrots along with turmeric powder, and chilli powder. Cook it for 2-3 minutes.

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Then on top of this, add the chopped swiss chard/spinach. Mix it together with the rest of the vegetables and finally, place halves of 2 tomatoes on top of the mixture and pressure cook (1 whistle).

Add salt and whisk together (it is important to not mash everything - whisk lightly). At the end, saute a few pieces of garlic until they turn brown and use this as garnish.

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Serve with hot rice.

11 comments:

  1. Hi, We love Sai Bhajji too. Looks Good

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  2. Ooh this looks good, simple yet I am sure delicious. I have got to try this when I get a bunch of chard.

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  3. Looks like u had a good time in Bombay and brought home some keeper recipes.

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  4. Hi Mandira! I came by to tell you I used your panch phoron for tomato chutney -- it was so flavorful! Thanks again for that :) This is the perfect recipe for me to use up some chard and other garden veggies -- I have a brinjal and tomatoes -- it looks wonderful! What a great lunch to pack for work this week.

    I have to catch up and see what else you did this summer! :)

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  5. Something new and looks gr8.

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  6. A Sindhi friend had taught me this ... have loved it ever since.Am making it tonight ... the palak is soaking :-) I had forgotten the name though.What a nice coincidence that I came here now :-)

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  7. I've bookmarked this. Gosh it sounds and looks so delicious. I love the idea of the fried garlic to garnish, I know that that adds to the experience just from the aroma alone.

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  8. I've blogged this before and this is indeed a hearty, healthy meal!

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  9. I love the simplicity of this dish! There are only two masalas in it and garlic? Fantastic. Thank you aunty indeed!

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  10. This looks so healthy, and I would love to eat it with some spinach! I am bookmarking :)

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  11. YUMMY LOOKING DAL....
    I WILL TRY IT SOON.

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