Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Meals to Make with Leftover Saag

Last week I blogged about Indian spices, posting several recipes for sides that made up an easy Indian meal.

The recipes came from a friend who conducted an in-home class on Indian Cooking 101. I assisted Cindy as she ran her class, subsequently writing up what I'd learned on this blog.

At the end of the evening class, all participants sat down and ate what we'd made. And despite 7 hungry women chowing down with gusto, there were still leftovers.

I took home some leftover saag. I had basmati rice on hand plus some additional winter greens, and some fish in the freezer, fresh ginger root in the fridge, and slivered almonds in the pantry.

With these ingredients and the leftover saag, I made a couple of meals: a breakfast (below) and a dinner (above).

Neither meal was particularly spicy; however, I made chai, as per the recipe posted last week, and drank it with the breakfast dish. Between the black tea, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, black peppercorns and fresh ginger, the chai had more get-up-and-go than a morning espresso!

One of the women who participated in the class is a morning-coffee drinker. She and her husband have a little trick they employ to spice up the flavor of their coffee: they add 3 to 4 cardamom seeds to 5 tablespoons of coffee beans and grind them together.

Using a drip coffee machine, the ground beans and seeds infuse the flavor of the resulting coffee. I'm not a coffee drinker, except for the occasional dry cappuccino, but I love the sound of their home brew.

You might like to try a cup of cardamom coffee with this leftover saag breakfast dish:

Rice with Saag, Raisins and Almonds
1) To 3/4 cup of leftover cooked basmati rice, add some raisins and half a cup of homemade chai (or water), warming the lot in a pot on the stove.
2) In another pot, warm a portion of leftover saag, plus a few leaves of winter kale.
3) Meanwhile, toast some slivered almonds in the oven.

To Serve: Spoon saag and kale mix into a bowl, top with warmed chai rice and sprinkle with toasted almonds.

And as I said, I drank a spicy cup of chai with this and was subsequently well fueled for the morning.

(You might be aware that this recipe recalls the series of whole grain breakfasts I featured a number of weeks ago, in particular the millet, spinach, raisin and nutmeg dish.)

The main meal dish I made with the leftover saag was very easy.

Saag with Mahi Mahi
1) Add a portion of the leftover saag to a skillet. Heat it gently on low.
2) I had a frozen fillet of mahi mahi in my freezer, which I unfroze and sliced into chunks.
3) Place the chunks of mahi mahi into the center of the warming saag by making a bit of a well. Top the fish with peeled and sliced fresh ginger root.
4) Add the lid to the skillet and gently cook the fish for maybe 5 mins. Once the fish is done, remove skillet from heat and squeeze the juice from half a lime over the lot.

To Serve: Spoon saag into a deep bowl, top with pieces of fish and the chopped ginger. You could add some chopped cilantro, or serve a chunk of lime on the side. I had a bowl of steamed basmati rice with this, which I'd enriched with a blob of homemade ghee.

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