Saturday, October 27, 2007

"Chicken" Saag

Indian night again? You better believe it! There is nothing like a warm curry over rice on a cold and rainy fall day like we had today. I, of course, made the dhal again. I swear, every time I eat this dish I understand how Esau could have sold his birthright for a bowl of pottage. The saag is also pretty fantastic. You can also use kale in this dish, but will have to cook it longer. I used fake chicken tenders that I bought today in a moment of weakness--those things are a total freakin' rip off! $3.49 for 6 ounces of "meat?" Stupid gouging grocery store!

- 16 oz baby spinach leaves, washed (or kale)
- 1" piece of ginger, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 cup of water
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 black peppercorns
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 small tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tsp mild curry powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 3 tbsp plain soy yogurt
- 1 pkg Yves Chicken Tenders (or 1 can of chickpeas)

1. Cook spinach, without water, in a large pot with a lid for 5 mins (longer if you are using kale). Remove from heat and add ginger, garlic, and 1/4 cup of the water. Blend with a handmixer (or throw in food processor). Put mixture in a bowl.
2. Heat oil and fry bay leaves and peppercorns for 2 mins. Add onions and fry until golden brown.
3. Add tomatoes and simmer for 5 mins. Add curry powder, salt, and chili powder and mix. Add spinach mixture and remaining water. Simmer 5 mins.
4. Add yogurt and mix. Add "chicken" or chickpeas and heat through. Serve over basmati rice.


Tracy said...

That looks delicious! I wish my daughter would eat Indian dishes, even mildly spiced.

Vegan Dad said...

Well, I have told my boys before that the saag was in fact boogers--they quite enjoyed wolfing a big plate of it down.

Belle said...

This dish is fantastic! I used the chickpeas instead of the chicken. Next time I make it, I think I will add some potatoes as well.

Vegan Dad said...

chickpeas are a great substitution--and potatoes, too!

bugink said...

so, do I use dried bay leaves? and the peppercorns are whole? This is one of my favorite Indian dishes when I (rarely) go out, I would love to learn how to make it at home.

Vegan Dad said...

Yes, dried bay leave and whole peppercorns. Indian cooking often has whole spices (like cardamom) for bursts of flavout when you eat the dish. The peppercorns will soften and break up, and you can remove the bay leaves after the dish has cooked.

bugink said...

I made this for a large group this weekend...substituted fried tofu for the faux chicken. It was a big hit - but sadly no leftovers today. I also made your lentil dhal and basmati rice, also delish.

Emily said...

Dear Vegan Dad,

I love every one of your recipes that I've made. Thank you for being awesome. I am a huge fan of fake meat and I make a lot of seitan, but I haven't been able to figure out how to replicate those fake chicken strips you mention here. I agree that they are ridiculously over-priced. Have you done any experimenting with that? Do you have any suggestions for replicating those tasty little morsels?