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When I wasn’t vegan my favourite Indian dish at restaurants was Chicken Saag. I didn’t know what Saag meant, but I did know that cooked spinach magically became delicious in spicy curry sauce. So last week when I saw mangos on sale my tummy wired a message to my brain: Mango Saag and my brain decided to add the chickpeas for good measure. My brain’s smart like that you know!! 😉

Diced Mangos

Diced Mangos

I even google translated “Saag” just to satisfy my curiosity, and it literally means Greens, which makes sense as according to wikipedia: Saag is a Leaf-based (spinach, mustard leaf, Basella, etc.) dish eaten in South Asia.
But back to my Mango and Chickpea Saaging it. It’s unfortunate that I didn’t know about traditional saag containing more greens, which I will include next time I’m making this dish. But by all means feel free to add more leafy greens of your choice such as kale, collard greens, leeks, etc. when you’re making yours, and let me know how it turns out!

Chopped up: Garlic and Ginger

Chopped up: Garlic and Ginger

Ingredients:
3 tbsp olive oil
1 med. onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tbsp ginger, minced
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp Pataks curry paste (Hot or Mild)
1 bunch spinach, chiffonade*
2 mangos, medium diced
2 14 oz can chickpeas
1 cup cold water
1 tbsp arrowroot flour

Directions:
Start by sautéing the onions in a large frying pan in 1 tbsp olive oil for about 3 minutes on medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger and 1 more tbsp olive oil and continue to sauté some more. Add the salt, spices and the Pataks curry paste. I like my curry to be spicy, so I buy the Hot or Madras curry paste which has quite a kick to it. But if you want your curry to be mild, then buy the mild curry paste. Even the mild one a bit of kick.
The beauty of curry paste is that at the end when you taste your dish and you want more hotness, you can dilute a little with some water and add more to the whole pot. Patak’s lists all of their vegan products on their website here, which is great!!

Chiffonade

Chiffonade
photo by: Lifeflix http://www.flickr.com/photos/lifeflix/

Best way to cut your spinach is to Chifonade, which is just a fancy French word for cutting your spinach as demonstrated oh so well in this picture. But you knew that 😉
Add the spinach to your frying pan, and add more olive oil if the pan is drying out. Fry the spinach until wilted then add your diced mangos and chickpeas, mix and incorporate everything together. I like arrowroot better than cornstarch, but you can sub cornstarch if you like and they both dissolve in cold water. Once all mixed up add it to the frying pan. When heated through the mixture should thicken. Put the lid on loosely and let the Saag cook on low to medium low heat for 15 minutes for all the spices to meld together.

Chickpea Mango Saag

Chickpea Mango Saag

Enjoy on top of basmati rice, or with some Indian bread, or both! Yumyum 😛

This recipe makes quite a lot of food, and I’m being generous when I say it serves 6, but lets say it serves 6 hungry people. Based on that it’s only 254 calories per serving and only 7 g of fat. It also provides a whopping 43% of your vitamin A, 35% of your folate, and a high 56% of Manganese from all that spinach. For the full nutritional info of this recipe please go here. Bon Appetite!!

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