August 30, 2008
Sai Bhaji: a Sindhi staple
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!
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
1/2 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
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.
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.
Serve with hot rice.