Lemony spinach and vegetable hot pot

Lemony spinach and vegetable hot pot

By
From
Anjum's Indian Vegetarian Feast
Serves
5-6
Photographer
Emma Lee

This is a classic Sindhi dish called sai bhaji. It was taught to me by my good friend Shaila and is her mother-in-law’s recipe. It is so delicious that I don’t think I have made a single change, which is a first! It is a proper stew, full of vegetables and so healthy, no wonder mothers insist on passing it on to their children. This is not a party dish, but one which you will cook for your family again and again; it is hearty and tangy and perfect with both Indian flatbreads and rice.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
20g root ginger, (peeled weight)
3 fat garlic cloves, peeled
4 large tomatoes, quartered
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 rounded teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 rounded teaspoon garam masala
salt, to taste
1 large-ish carrot, peeled and chopped into 2 cm pieces
1/2 large aubergine, cut into 2 cm pieces
1 potato, peeled and cut into 2 cm pieces
4 tablespoons bengal gram, soaked for two hours, or as long as possible
500g baby spinach, washed
15g dill fronds, roughly chopped
or 25g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves, crumbled between your fingers
1-1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

Method

  1. Using a stick blender, blend together the ginger and garlic with a little water until smooth. Set aside. Again using the stick blender, blend the tomatoes until smooth. Set these aside as well.
  2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan. Add the onion and cook until just soft. Add the blended ginger and garlic and cook until the liquid has dried up and the garlic turns lightly golden. Add the tomatoes, spices and salt and bring to the boil; simmer for five minutes.
  3. Add the carrot, aubergine and potato and give the pan a good stir. Sprinkle over the drained lentils, but do not stir them in. Place the spinach, herbs and fenugreek on top and pour in 200 ml of water. Without stirring the pan, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer on a gentle flame until yieldingly soft, around 1–1¼ hours.
  4. Uncover and, if you like, mash the vegetables and spinach together until homogeneous (this is how the authentic recipe is made; I prefer to leave the vegetables whole). Add the lemon juice to taste and adjust the seasoning. Simmer off any excess water as the stew cooks for another 15 minutes and becomes creamy, then serve.
Tags:
Indian
vegetarian
Anjum
Anand
Asian
simple
healthy
easy
quick
fast
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