Green mixed vegetables “Sai Bhaji”

I cringed the first time I saw this dish (as a newly wed no less). I remember thinking, “What’s this green slush I have to eat?!”  I did not want to make a fuss and quietly sat there and took a bite. OMG! I loved it! I could not believe how flavorful it was!

Here’s the list of good stuff you’ll find in this delicious concoction – spinach, dill, tomatoes, egg plant, fenugreek and other vegetables along with lentil for a shot of protein. I could not stop telling my in-laws how much I loved this dish and that I had to make it for my dad and mom.

“Sai-Bhaji” is a Sindhi (a community in India that’s taken their business talents all over the world) dish and is typically served with dill pulao or eaten with plain bread. The word “sai” means green and “bhaji” means vegetable and hence the name “Sai-Bhaji”. My friends beg me to make this for them all the time. There is a little prep involved but other than that it’s a simple, scrumptious and satisfying meal. And if you have any left over vegetable , you can make “tikkis’ or pattice out of it  Shall post that soon!

Ingredients:

  • 9 oz (255 grams) spinach
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons dried fenugreek or 1/4 cup fresh fenugreek, finely chopped (I used the dried one”Kasuri methi”)
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1  medium sized potato peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion chopped – approximately 1 cup
  • 1/2 cup chopped eggplant
  • 2  tomatoes chopped fine- approximately 1 3/4 cup
  • 5 garlic cloves chopped finely- approximately 1 1/2 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger chopped fine
  • 1 1/2 green chilly chopped fine
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of tamarind paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
  • 1 cup split Bengal gram “channa dal”
  • salt to taste

Method:

Wash and soak Bengal gram “channa dal” in water for about 1 hour.

Wash spinach, dill and if using fresh fenugreek, chop and keep aside.

Cut the carrots, tomatoes, onion, eggplant, potato, ginger, garlic and green chillies and keep aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a vessel or pressure cooker. Add asafoetida.

Add ginger, garlic and green chillies. Make sure the garlic does not burn. Fry for a minute on medium high heat.

Add the spinach, dill and fenugreek to this.

Add the lentil and carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and onion.

Add turmeric and salt to taste.

Add 1/2 cup water and pressure cook for 15 minutes.

Note: If you don’t have a pressure cooker, add 1 cup  water , cover and cook on medium high till the vegetables and lentils are cooked. This could take 25- 30 minutes. You might have to keep adding water and make sure the vegetables don’t stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.

After it’s cooked, mash it using a potato masher. Add tamarind paste. Mix well and check for salt. Depending on the tamarind concentrate you are using, add a little at a time , taste and then add more. I generally add 3/4 teaspoon.

 Serve hot with dill pulao, steamed rice or plain bread.

I am sending this to Lisa’s kitchen to enter  A Celebration of Indian food and giveaway Part-2.

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