Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Canned heat.

If I took the name of this blog literally I would have to describe all those nights when I stare vacantly into the open refrigerator and then turn to the cupboard, take down a tin of baked beans, warm them up, toast a piece of stale bread, butter it, tip the beans onto the toast and eat.

But I don't take it literally.

Which is just as well because I'd bore you to tears.

But that doesn't mean I don't use tins of food. Everyone does. It's just that some tins are more interesting than others.

For example, the other night I bought an 825g tin of Sarson Ka Saag (curried mustard greens) and a pack of fresh chili roti from Desi Needs, the quaintly named spice shop in Coburg.

I warmed up the mustard greens, cooked a pot of potatoes, mashed them with a little butter and a few mustard seeds and plenty of salt and pepper, heated the square roti under the grill, sliced it diagonally twice into four crunchy triangles, piled the potatoes into a large bowl, poured the hot Sarson Ka Saag over, sat the roti on the side and that was dinner. Of course, I could have made the Sarson Ka Saag at home.

Sarson Ka Saag (Curried Mustard Greens)

One kilogram finely chopped mustard greens. (Other greens will suffice if you can't get them.)
A quarter kilogram finely chopped spinach. (I have noticed different recipes vary the ratio of mustard greens to spinach.)
A large onion.
Two green chillies
Four cloves garlic
Two centimetres of ginger
Two red chilies
Two tablespoons gram flour
One tablespoon ghee or butter
Four tablespoons ghee

Boil the mustard greens and spinach in two cups water until soft. Drain excess water, mash and set aside. Meanwhile, mince the onion, green chillies, garlic and ginger and chop the red chilies finely. Saute all of these for a few minutes in four tablespoons of ghee. Now add the mashed greens and a good pinch of salt. Make paste of the gram flour* with a little water, add it to the above mixture, cook for twenty minutes, adjusting liquid if necessary, and serve topped with butter with roti on the side.

*Which I am assured must be the genuine channa dal flour, not the commonly mistaken chickpea flour, but then my half-an-hour of internet research tells me these are one and the same thing. The hell with the internet. It's a waste of time.


Janis Gore said...

I wish I could be so pissy when it comes to ingredients.

Tony said...

Wow! That sounds good! It's way different than I've cooked greens, mostly southern style but good. I BTW keep few canned stuff mostly several types of beans,whole kernel corn and tomatoes. IMO most canned tastes just a bit off compared to fresh. just picky I guess.

kitchen hand said...

Janis, I never used to be. There's so much choice now. Probably too much.

Tony, it is good. And yes, fresh is always better. However, cans appeal after about eighty-thirty, nine at night. How about some southern green recipes?

Lucy said...

Sounds absolutely delicious - and you're right, the internet is a waste of time...

neil said...

The internet a waste of time...I just don't know what to say...