Saturday, December 27, 2008

Desi style Daikon Radish Cooked in its own leaves (Mooli ki sabzi)

Daikon Radish is known as mooli in Hindi and Urdu. Mooli is available year round, but its taste is best in the winter when it is less bitter and almost sweet. It is an integral part of the "Punjabi salaad," which is a simply a plate set with an assortment of raw chopped vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, onions, mooli, cucumber, beetroot, romaine lettuce leaves, lemon wedges, and/or whatever else suits your fancy. It can be left plain, or garnished with lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and chaat masala. Mooli is also used in pickle making. But mooli is not just an accompanyment to a meal. It can be a meal itself. Here is a recipe for mooli cooked in its own leaves, mooli ke patte or mooli saag. You know saag paneer? Saag means greens, paneer is cheese. Saag comes in many varieties, paalak (spinach), sarson (mustard), and so forth. You can use the recipe below for any saag, actually. Instead of radish, with paalak you could add potatoes or paneer, or even pre-browned pieces of meat for paalak chicken or gosht. If you decide to use meat, stir in 1 tsp garam masala at the end of preparation of the dish. With a vegetarian dish, you could optionally add yoghurt, milk, or cream to achieve a restaurant style creamy effect. Another variation is to puree the greens in the blender. So many options with such a simple and delicious family of vegetable, leafy greens!

First, you should peel your daikon radish with a potato peeler. Slice it into circles about as thick as two quarters stacked together. If you have a particularly fat radish, you can cut the larger slices into semi-circles. Set these aside. No chop your radish leaves, stems and all, into fine shreds. I prefer to chop, then wash. Wash your leaves really really well, because you don't want to end up with a gritty texture to your dish from leftover dirt and sand. Set your washed radish and leaves aside, but still dripping wet from the wash. This will provide the moisture for steaming them during the cooking process.
one radish and two bunches chopped radish leaves, all prepared as described above
2 tbs oil
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 small onion finely chopped
1 heaping tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tomato, chopped (skin if you like, but I am not that fussy)
salt to taste
fresh cilantro chopped
fresh green chilies chopped
1 tbs butter
Your pot must have a lid. Heat oil in pot. Add in cumin seeds and onions. Let onions cook until translucent. Add in your ginger/garlic and allow to brown, then stir in powdered spices and allow to sizzle. Quickly add tomatoes and stir until they melt down. Now add in ALL of your greens and radish slices, and cover the pot. Don't worry, the moisture on the greens will prevent the masala from burning. Keep the lid on for a minute, then lift the lid. The greens will have melted down. Mix well with the masala. Now that you can see the amount of finished post-melted greens you have, you can add salt to taste. Add a tiny bit of water if it looks dry. Allow to bubble up on high heat, then cover and turn the heat on low. Cook covered for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the greens and radish are done. Turn off the heat. Stir in the butter, cilantro, and fresh chilies. Serve with flat bread or rice!

1 comment:

Lucky Sign said...

it is my first time visit i here. Mooli ki bhaaji looks good even though I never had it before. thankyou for shearing this information with us!chowringhee laxmi nagar