689. Sai Bhaji
MEGA BLOGGING MARATHON -SEPT 2017
#80TH BLOGGING MARATHON
THEME: PROTEIN RICH DISHES
Coming back to Mombasa is certainly a jolt back to reality. No more wide pavements, traffic order, running water in taps, well stocked supermarkets etc etc. After a long journey from Montreal to Nairobi with a 3 hour stop in Paris, hubby and I were exhausted. As we came out from the arrivals terminal at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, we thought just one more hour and we’ll be home. I could only think of my bed as I could barely keep my eyes open. Strong coffee too was not helping. One of the worst airports to move from one terminal to the other is Nairobi and Addis Ababa. Which of the two is worst I really cannot say. From the arrivals, with rickety wheels trolley we have to cross the parking area, with no proper path for pedestrians, dodging cars and trying not to hit parked cars with your trolley we reach the domestic terminal. While carrying out this trek, just pray that it doesn’t rain otherwise not only will your luggage be soaking wet but you too will get soaked. (It’s happened to me once!). As you leave the arrivals there is a sign board written in big letters “shuttle bus” but there is no shuttle bus in sight. You could wait till next century and no shuttle bus will appear.
Anyway, so we trek the carpark, check in again and wait for them to announce that its time to board the flight to Mombasa. Its 11.30pm and no announcement. The flight is supposed to take off at 11.45pm. At 11.45pm they announce “Flight No.___ is delayed as the crew has not arrived. We regret any inconvenience caused”. End of story! Red eyed passengers look at each other each thinking “did I hear right, crew has not arrived’! Didn’t they know they had to report to work for a flight scheduled at 11.45… what a lame excuse. I would have thought they could have come up with a more convincing excuse. Well, it wasn’t till 2a.m. that the announcement to board the flight came. In all that time we were waiting, I didn’t see any crew passing the boarding gate! Did they board the craft through a special door? Anyway we arrive home at 3.45 a.m totally exhausted. After a quick bath, fell asleep and both hubby and I didn’t get up till 3p.m.
Next day the reliable veggie lady, Esther comes with loads of palak(spinach) in her basket. I bought the spinach, fenugreek and other veggies I needed. At least God was looking out for me. One of the dishes I had jotted down for the Protein Rich Theme was Sai Bhaji. Just the right ingredients had arrived in Esther’s basket. Made that for lunch with rotis. After 24 hours of plane food(yuck) and airport food, a nice hot sabji with roti was the ultimate comfort food.
I first read about Sai Bhaji in some Bollywood Film Gossip where Raveena Tandon mentioned that she likes it very much. I later googled the recipe and found out that its a typical popular Sindhi sabji or curry. Sai means greens and bhaji means vegetables. Its a melange of greens and vegetables to make a protein rich, full of vitamins dish. For greens usually a mixture of spinach, fenugreek, dill, sorrel is used along with brinjal, potato, or colcasia root(arbi), onion, okra etc. Different recipes have different vegetables added to it. This bhaji is usually enjoyed with a Sindhi rice dish called Bhugha Chaanwaran. Its a caramelized onion rice spiced up with red chillis and garam masala. I chose to serve it with roti.
Protein sources in this recipe are from chana dal and spinach
By no means am I claiming or supporting any sort of fad diet that are the latest craze in the fitness world. I’m just trying to include non meat non fish dishes from which you can get your protein source.
Recipe Idea: Sindhi Rasoi
4 cups finely chopped spinach
½ cup fresh methi(fenugreek) finely chopped
1 cup chana dal (chickpea lentils)
1 medium brinjal cut into small cubes
1 medium potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large tomato, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp green chili paste
1 tbsp oil
1 cup water
1-1½ tsp salt
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp amchur powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
- Wash and soak the chana dal in 1 cup water for 30-45 minutes.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pressure cooker.
- Add onion and stir fry it till it becomes translucent.
- Add ginger and chili paste and stir fry for 1 minute.
- Add tomato. Stir fry till it becomes a bit soft.
- Add potato and brinjal.
- Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala, amchur powder and salt.
- Add the soaked chana dal with the water.
- Mix well.
- Close the lid of the pressure cooker. Let the sabji cook over medium heat for 2 whistles.
- After 2 whistles switch off the heat.
- When the pressure valve goes down, open the lid of the pressure cooker.
- Put the pressure cooker back on medium heat without the lid.
- Add chopped spinach and methi and cook further for 4-5 minutes. Stir occasionally so that the sabji does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Heat oil for tempering in a small pan.
- Add garlic paste and stir fry it for a few seconds.
- Take the pan off the heat. Add red chilli powder. Mix.
- Pour the tempering over the sabji and serve.
- Use a mixture of green leaves to make this bhaji.
- I added the spinach and fenugreek at the end to maintain the green colour of the bhaji.
- Next time I’m going to add amaranth and dill.
- Use less oil for tempering.
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