Sunday, April 12, 2015

South Indian Sauteed Swiss Chard (Palakoora Vepadu)

Sauteed greens is such a bland phrase in comparison to reality of the dish pictured above. It's like calling  caviar fish eggs or truffles fungus. It almost insults it with such a minimalist term. This is food for the gods!

I happened to be browsing Saveur's website looking for a good naan recipe and happened upon the motherlode of authentic Indian cooking. The magazine had devoted an entire issue to exploring the country top to bottom and this greens dish is from Andhra, a state on the south east coast of the Indian Ocean. I will definitely be on the lookout for more dishes from that state to be sure!

Prior to finding this recipe my meal plan included a urad dal makhani dish (look for that next) from the Punjab, and unknown to me both dishes used similar spices so they made the perfect compliment.

While the list of ingredients is comparatively long it is sooooo worth it!! This will be going into our regular rotation, and what a great way to get some good greens in your meal!

Palakoora Vepadu (Andhra-Style Sauteed Swiss Chard) (adapted from Saveur)
(serves 2-3)

2 tablespoons ghee or oil
1 teaspoons cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
9 cloves garlic: 3 halved lengthwise, 6 minced
1/2 cup onion, minced fine
1 teaspoons coriander
1 teaspoon kashmiri chile powder or cayenne
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
salt to taste
3 large bunched swiss chard, destemmed and chopped

Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add oil. Cook cumin and fenugreek seeds until they pop, about 1-2 minutes. Add halved garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minutes. Add onion and stir to mix well, cooking for 5-7 minutes until just beginning to turn brown. Add garlic, coriander, chile powder, turmeric, ginger and salt and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add Swiss chard and toss to coat with spice mixture, sauteing until chard is almost dry. Serve immediately.


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