VeganMoFo – Aloo methi and chana saag

Last time I went to Manchester I went to one of the big Indian supermarkets and picked up a big bunch of fenugreek (methi) and saag (greens. Unlabelled, but much tougher than spinach). I knew I’d seen a recipe for Aloo Methi in the Khazana cookbook. Sadly the Khazana restaurant has closed down and I think that was the only place you could get the book. If you find a copy anywhere you should grab it because the recipes in it are really tasty (although not very well written. He needs a decent recipe tester!). So I don’t feel too bad about sharing the recipe with you all, because it’s worth making. I served it all with some brown rice and (bought) garlic pickle – that’s the messy stuff on the top right of the plate!

Ingredients

2 large potatoes
1 bunch of fenugreek, roughly chopped
2 tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of asafoetida
2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried fenugreek

Cut the potatoes into large chunks and steam for about 15 minutes or until only just tender. Add the oil to a pan and when hot add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds and the asafoetida. When the seeds start to pop add the onion and fry until golden. Then add the tomato, chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala, cumin, coriander, salt and dried fenugreek. Cook for a few minutes then add the fresh fenugreek. Cook for a further 10 minutes and keep stirring. Add the potatoes and cook for another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are fully cooked.

With the aloo methi I made some chana saag. This was something I made up as I went along but turned out pretty succesfully.

1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp grated ginger
2 chopped green chillies
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
Very large bunch saag, chopped
Tin chickpeas, drained

Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds. Then add the onion and fry until golden. Then add the ginger, onion and chillies and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the garam masala, salt and chopped saag. Stir together and cook for a few minutes. Add a large splash of water, bring to the boil, cover and cook for a while. This will depend on how tough your saag is. Mine was pretty tough so I needed to add more water and keep cooking and stirring. Then finally add the chickpeas and cook through until they’re heated through.

Tandoori seitan, chickpea and spinach curry

My freezer is always chock full of leftover stuff from testing that I never get chance to use because, well, I’m testing new things. But last week it was threatening to burst open so I really had to get some stuff used up. I grabbed some tandoori seitan (tester for Vegan Substitutions) and decided to just make something up with it. Here’s what I used:

Big piece of tandoori seitan, or any seitan
1 onion, chopped
2 gloves garlic, crushed
1 knob ginger, grated (I grate it right from frozen with my microplane)
2 green chillies, finely chopped
Pinch asafoetida
2 tsps garam masala
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 bag baby spinach
1 tin drained chickpeas
Vegetable stock

Heat some oil in a large frying pan (I used vegetable ghee which I found in my Indian shop). When hot, add the cubed seitan and fry until slightly brown and crisp. Remove and set aside. Use the same pan and fry the onion until soft  then add the chillies, ginger and garlic. Then add the spices and cook for a few minutes. Add in the chickpeas, spinach and reserved seitan and cook until the spinach has wilted. Add a few splashes of stock to deglaze the pan and make the dish a bit juicy. I served with brown pilau rice but home made chapatis would have been perfect.