We can all agree that Indian food is delicious! The depths of flavor created with a variety of spices makes for a flavor bomb in your mouth. My sister’s favorite dish is Saag Chanaa–it is the only thing she orders when we go to an Indian restaurant. So, in honor of her, I made it! I didn’t have spinach on hand (which is a common green used for this dish) but I had collard greens! I figured it was worth the try and YESSS — better than spinach! The heartiness of the collards holds up to the heat of cooking and the complexity of spices. A bowl of this is a complete meal full of nutrients, textures, and flavors. YUMMMYY!
Garlic, 4-5 cloves
Ginger, fresh, 2-3 tsp diced
Collard Greens, 2 bunches
Tomato Sauce (I used a homemade version of a roasted sauce because that’s what I had on hand), 1/2 cup
Tomato, fresh, 1/2 cup (I used cherry tomatoes)
Jalapeno, 1/3, diced
Chickpeas, 1 can
Cumin, 1/2 tsp for spice mix; 1/2 tsp for chickpeas
Corrinader, 1 1/2 tsp seeds
Fennel Seeds, 1 tsp
Turmeric, 1-2 tsp
Chilli Flakes, 1/2 tsp
1. Dice onion and begin to sautee in a pot with salt at a medium heat. You want to slowly cook down the onion to really develop the flavor.
2. Spice blend: Add seeds to your spice grinder and blend down to a powder: cumin, corrinader, fennel, chilli flakes, turmeric.
3. Dice garlic, ginger, and jalapeno. Once onions have cooked for about 5-7 minutes and are translucent, add garlic and ginger. Allow for cook out for about 5 minutes.
4. Add the spice blend to the pot. Stir together for a minute then add the tomato sauce/puree. I used a variation of this recipe.
5. Wash, de-stem, and chop collard greens. Here’s a tutorial on de-stemming collards.
6. Once the onion, garlic, ginger, jalapeno, spices, and tomato sauce have cooked together, add the collard greens. Mix the greens in the pot with the sauce and put a lid on it to allow the greens to cook down.
7. In a separate pan, add cumin seeds and toast with rinsed chickpeas. Allow the spice and beans to toast until you see the shade of cumin turn darker brown (not burnt so use a medium heat) and you’ll see some brown toasty-ness on the beans.
8. Add chickpeas and cumin to the pot of greens, add some water and allow to cook together on a medium heat for up to 5 minutes. You will be able to tell when the greens are cooked–they don’t have to be brown! Allow the pot to simmer for a few minutes then let rest before you dig in!
I served with coconut jasmine rice–and will try with roti/naan soon!
I know it may seem like there a lot of steps to this but really it is EASY and well worth the effort.
Remember, you can use any type of leafy green for this dish if you don’t have collard greens on hand. But, give collards a chance with this dish and try something new!
Let me know what you think 🙂