Saag is the magic that happens when you bloom amazing spices and then let those simmer with spinach, tomato, onion and coconut milk. The finished dish doesn’t look like it will necessarily knock your socks off, but everything that goes into it is so bright and beautiful and delicious—we’re just showing off a picture of our spice blend (we were lucky and had fresh curry leaves today).
In this very greens-heavy period of spring, saag shows up pretty often for lunch on the farm. Today we ate it with freshly grilled naan and a rhubarb shrub with a cool breeze blowing in through the market door.
It was lovely.
4 cups chopped, blanched spinach, well drained (coarsely blend 2 cups for a smoother texture)
2 cups crushed tomato
1 can coconut milk (or 1.5 cups heavy cream)
1 cup chopped onion
2 TBSP coconut oil (or ghee)
1 TBSP minced garlic
1 TBSP minced ginger
1 bay leaf
Pinch whole green cardamom
Pinch whole cloves
½ tsp whole cumin seed
2 tsp garam masala (or curry powder)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp black mustard powder
½ tsp Indian chili powder (for mild)
Salt to taste
Heat oil in large heavy-bottom pan.
Add bay leaf, cardamom, cloves and cumin seed. Stir occasionally until fragrant and seeds are sputtering. Remove bay, cardamom and cloves.
Add onion, sauté until soft. Add garlic and ginger. Sauté until onions begin to get golden. Add tomato. Simmer until oil starts to sit on top.
Combine masala spice (garam masala, cumin, coriander, turmeric, mustard, chili), and add to sauté mixture. Cook for 5 minutes, then add spinach. Cook for another 5 minutes, then add coconut milk (or cream). Cook for another 10 minutes.
Makes 4-6 servings.