Leafy Greens and Tamarind Stew

A spicy and tangy stew of leafy greens cooked with tamarind and other Indian spices
Ingredients - Makes approximately 1 litre
  • 1 large bunch of amaranth greens or sorrel leaves or kale or spinach or chinese spinach, chopped
  • 1 large (or 300 g) onion, chopped, optional
  • 2 tbsp split chickpeas (chana dal), optional
  • 2-3 green chillies, slit lengthwise (adjust based on your spice/heat tolerance)
  • 30 g tamarind
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1½-2 tsp jaggery or sugar (white or brown), optional
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder, optional
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp rice flour
  • 5½ cups water
  • Salt, to taste
  • For the tempering
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tsp black gram (urad dal)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 4-5 dried red chillies
  • a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  1. Heat 1 cup of the water in a small bowl and soak the tamarind for 15-20 minutes. Or, you can place the bowl in the microwave on high for 30 seconds. Cool and squeeze out the tamarind juice with your fingers. Strain and set aside the juice
  2. In a large pot, heat the oil and saute the split chickpeas (chana dal), onions and greens for 2-3 minutes. Pour in 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Mix in the tamarind juice and jaggery, add the green chillies and simmer for 3-4 minutes
  3. Mix the rice flour into the remaining ½ cup of water and ensuring there are no lumps, mix into the stew. Adjust salt, add fresh coriander and let simmer for 5 minutes
  4. In a separate pan, get the tempering ready. Heat the oil and fry the fenugreek seeds and urad dal until they start to brown. Add mustard seeds, red chillies and curry leaves and fry until the mustard seeds splutter
  5. Turn off the heat, add a pinch of asafoetida. Mix the tempering into the stew and serve hot. Traditionally the stew is eaten with rice, but it should go well with couscous or quinoa
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