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My favorite shak is prepared the Bengali way. I first learned to prepare it in the home of friend who had learned it from his mother. I have since tasted and made many different versions. It is made with spinach and potatoes.

The potatoes are first fried in a little mustard oil until light brown. Then they are removed from the pan and either panch phoran and a dried red chili are fried in the oil or kalonji with fresh green chilies is fried. Then a pinch of turmeric and a little sugar is stirred in before adding the spinach, potatoes, a little water and some salt. It is then cooked until the potatoes are tender and the water evaporates. Sometimes this also gets little fried bits of moong bori (sun-dried lentil nuggets). I love it. I suppose this is called "palong shaaker ghanto", no?

i make the identical dish, as per my mother's instructions. she doesn't call it a ghonto. we just call it alu-palak.

as for ghontos i've always thought they involved fish heads and carcasses--but that may be because those were the only types that were made in our home. if there is interest (or unless gautam suddenly reappears) i can institute inquiries about the exact difference between a ghonto and a chorchori. i have a suspicion though that bong could hazard an educated guess.

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It is rumored to be available here in California,

if u like to garden, it may be worth giving these folks a shot.

under misc. vegetables.

looks like a cool place.

somehow i can't quite picture a drumstick tree in my living room, tho.

whippy

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How finely must the greens be chopped to make saag?

I can't ever seem to get the right consistency, it should be like a smooth puree once finished cooking, right? Even went so far as to puree them before cooking one time, and that was a mistake. :laugh:

Pat

"I... like... FOOD!" -Red Valkyrie, Gauntlet Legends-

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How finely must the greens be chopped to make saag?

I can't ever seem to get the right consistency, it should be like a smooth puree once finished cooking, right? Even went so far as to puree them before cooking one time, and that was a mistake. :laugh:

Pat

are you talking specifically about saag/palak paneer? i don't know that pureeing them before cooking is necessarily a mistake. when i make chicken or goat with spinach i usually steam and puree the spinach before adding it--can't imagine why you couldn't do the same with palak paneer. for other saag dishes, such as alu palak, you usually don't want a liquidy consistency. these things probably vary greatly from home to home, so you're best served by a consistency and taste that you like.

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under misc. vegetables.

looks like a cool place.

Looks interesting, but knowing our treacherous growing season up here, most of them are disqualified...

We can expect -15 to-20 for at least a week during winter, northern winds that dessicate perenials...

It can be 85 during the day and 35 @ night in July...Hard to raise anything even remotely tropical...Anything over 100 days is pushing the envelope..

Was a cool site to visit, though...

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are you talking specifically about saag/palak paneer? i don't know that pureeing them before cooking is necessarily a mistake. when i make chicken or goat with spinach i usually steam and puree the spinach before adding it--can't imagine why you couldn't do the same with palak paneer. for other saag dishes, such as alu palak, you usually don't want a liquidy consistency. these things probably vary greatly from home to home, so you're best served by a consistency and taste that you like.

Hm, well, when I pureed before cooking, the final result was something with a lot of liquid, but maybe that's just a matter of needing to cook it for longer. I didn't want to do that though, lest I killed off all of the dish's flavor.

What I'm trying to get is the happy creamy medium between clumpy greens from too coarse a chop, and watery puree with liquid that ends up separating from the solid.

And yes it was saag paneer, as well as saag aloo.

Pat

"I... like... FOOD!" -Red Valkyrie, Gauntlet Legends-

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don't puree the spinach for saag-alu--just chop the spinach coarsely, saute the diced par-boiled potatoes with spices (having first popped some methi seeds in the oil) till almost done, add the chopped spinach, a couple of t-spns of kasoori-methi and cook till done (just a few minutes).

as for pureed spinach for palak paneer or palak meat/chicken, the key is to not steam and puree with too much water. for palak paneer i'd say add the spinach almost at the very end--unless too much water fell in by accident, in which case add it earlier and evaporate it out. i never add cream, but that may just be a personal thing.

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I've been using a hand blender on my cooked spinach to get my desired consistency for saag paneer. It's not completely pureed but at the same time, it's also not too clumpy either.

Using the right amount of water to cook your spinach is very important. Too little and it might burn and too much will require longer cooking for evaporation, potentially overcooking your spinach.

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Would any of you mind posting a recipe in recipegullet?

I for one would be ever so greatful. I can never get mine to taste *just* right.

Edited by nessa (log)
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"Notey Shaak" is another of my favorites. When cooked, it will turn a dark red. It is rumored to be available here in California, but I am yet to find it. Synonyms are "Amaranth", "Chinese Spinach", "Hiyu", "hon-toi-noi", "yin choy", "een choy", "hsien tsai".

I live in the Bay Area and we get plenty of fresh 'Amarnath'. It's available in most of the Indian stores. Few say it is available in the Farmer's Market, but I did not come across it there. Just thought I will let you know.

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I live in the Bay Area and we get plenty of fresh 'Amarnath'.

Known out here as Red Rooted Pigweed...Knew they were edible, but just didn't have a reason to harvest them...Or what to do with them once I did...Now i do...Instead of ripping them out of the garden, will let a few grow and harvest the leaves...

BTW "Amaranth"...

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Would any of you mind posting a recipe in recipegullet?

I for one would be ever so greatful.  I can never get mine to taste *just* right.

Although I'm very happy with the consistency of my Saag Paneer, the taste of mine isn't "just right" either, at least not when compared to my favorite Indian buffet. I too would enjoy another recipe.

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  • 6 months later...

My favorite saag is at Rasa in London. I don’t like regular restaurant sag paneer. Its too slimy and doesn’t taste defined enough to me.. I am not sure really how to describe that. But in Rasa it is perfect. The spinach is not pureed, has definite bite to it, and has a strong taste of spinach that is not over powered by the cream. although the spices are mellowed slightly by the cream they are not diminished . I don’t think there are too many either. The cream used for the sauce is excellent ... English cream tastes more of cow and less of processing than US cream in my not so humble opinion.

Any way, the palak or saag or what ever in Rasa was one of the best gustatory experiences I have had. Every flavour was clear and defined; nothing was overwhelmed by the rest or mellowed beyond recognition.

Not that I have ever eaten a bad meal at Rasa, but this was wonderful. It was probably nearly 8 years ago now.

edited because i can't spell

Edited by Yajna Patni (log)
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  • 3 weeks later...

I have just eaten my new low cal version of saag paneer for lunch. I 'poached' all the spinach in skimmed milk and then proceeded to make it in the usual way.

No cream, no oil, no ghee. I pureed some cashewnuts to act as a thickener. This is the way I shall now make it everytime.

I can now eat some chocolate without feeling guilty. :laugh:

I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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I have just eaten my new low cal version of saag paneer for lunch. I 'poached' all the spinach in skimmed milk and then proceeded to make it in the usual way.

Skim Milk Paneer too Episure, I am sure, :wink:

Have to admit sounds intriguiging.

Edited by M65 (log)

"Burgundy makes you think of silly things, Bordeaux

makes you talk about them, and Champagne makes you do them." Brillat-Savarin

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