|"Lal Saag Bhaja"|
Lal Saag Bhaja, or Stir fried Lal Saag, is a humble dish made with "Lal saag" which belongs to the Amaranth family. A leafy dark red vegetable also known as Thotakura in Telgu, Tambdi Bhaji in Marathi, a lot of people also refer to it as Lal math or Red Spinach. Its scientific name is Amaranthus Tricolour and the very popular green version of it is known as Cholai in Hindi.
Lal Saag not only tastes good but looks great too....This leafy vegetable is low in calories and a good source of Iron, vitamins and essential minerals too.
As a child I was very fussy when it came to eating green leafy vegetables, spinach in any form was a nightmare, apart from Palak Paneer, I just couldn't resist it because of the colour and not to forget paneer, Methi....was way to bitter for me..... Lal Saag was the only leafy vegetable which I could have without making any fuss....thanks to Mom's stories which made me believe that it was a magical dish and would change the colour of rice to a bright red colour.
However things change with time and now that I am a mum and understand the importance of green leafy vegetables, I try my best to incorporate them in some form of other in our meals. Might sound silly but I too cook up stories trying to make him eat greens like, "Spinach" starts with letter "S" and "Strength" starts with letter "S " too, oh ! feeding him peas is also a pain so I tell him "P" is for "Power" and "Peas"starts with letter "P" for my 5 year old and as he is in Kindergarten.
Well here is a simple yet very tasty recipe of stir fried Lal Saag cooked along with Badi (sun dried lentil dumplings).
Lal Saag (saag) - 2 Bunch
Badi (Sun dried Lentil dumplings) - 1/2 cup
Garlic,minced - 1 tablespoon
Green chillies, slit - 4 pcs
Salt to taste
Mustard oil - 2 tablespoon
Extra oil for frying the Badi's.
Pick, clean and wash the lal saag leaves thoroughly under running water to get rid of any soil.
Once clean chop the lal saag finely.
Once the badi has cooled crush it lightly, so that it breaks up into smaller pieces.
Heat around 2 tablespoons of oil in the kadhai and add the minced garlic and slit green chillies, fry for 2-3 minutes and add the chopped Lal Saag, mix well.
Add salt and mix well, the saag will immediately start to release its water, continue frying for 2-3 minutes and add the crushed badi, mix well.
Cover and cook until the badi is softened and the shaag is well done. (Leafy vegetables have high content of water, hence they can cook on there own. Since we are adding badi which will tend to absorb water from the shaak, if required add a tablespoon or two of water.)
Serve hot along with steamed rice and dal and a dollop of desi ghee :)
Please clean the saag very well to ensure that there is no soil left.
I love to make green and leafy vegetables in Mustard oil as that's how my mom makes them, however you could use any cooking oil which you use and I'm sure it will taste great.
While adding salt please go slow, as the quantity reduces considerably.
I have used badi along with the saag but you could make it plain by eliminating the badi.