Sunday, 27 August 2017

Bhaji Jhinga ~ Spinach & Prawns

Bhaji Jinga

Growing up we had vegetables prepared in many ways. Spinach which was not a favourite of most kids and am pretty certain that it is the same today, was definitely the most difficult to serve up for a meal. Here is one recipe our family use to prepare with familiar Parsi Food flavours and served it with Khichri rice and yogurt Kudhi and poppodums. Salad with this was generally made up of fresh radish and carrot. However I feel most confident that many of you will enjoy this recipe because of the story I am about to share with you. 

Many years ago I was invited by a small hotelier in Dorset in the UK to run a weekend cooking course and speak about Parsi Cooking. It was advertised through BBC GoodFood, and we had a wonderful group of very interesting well travelled attendees. While having to prepare and serve up at least 7 meals over the duration, one had to include the variety. My mother somehow convinced me to make this dish as a side and with much trepidation I went ahead and cooked it. On the last morning at the breakfast table, the discussion was about all the food we had enjoyed and I was surprised to hear when this dish was mentioned in the best positive manner. They had all found this dish quite unusual, most intriguing and very delicious. Naturally I was delighted but have never quite gotten over the fact that I still find it hard to believe!!








Spinach and Prawns

 Serves 6 to 8

Fry until golden brown
2 large onions finely cut 

add to this and sauté for a minute
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground garlic
3 –5 green chillies finely chopped
1 large onion finely cut
1 tsp cumin finely ground
1-2 tsp red chillie powder

add to this
3 medium tomatoes skinned and diced
2 large bunches fresh cleaned spincah greens
OR you may use two 10 oz pkts of frozen spinach
1 bunch of methi fenugreek (optional)
1 tbsp sugar

cover and cook on a low fire until almost done about 30 minutes. All the water should be evaporated.

Add to this 1 lb/1/2 kg of cleaned fresh prawns.
Cover and cook 7 minutes and serve hot with khichri and dahi ni kudhi.

Tips

A peeled thinly sliced green/raw mango tastes delicious if available. Add with all other ingredients allowing it to cook and soften to release its flavour.
Use any kind of spinach locally grown.
Adding a handful of corriander leaves to this is an option.
I have also added a small handful of fresh mint at times. 

While  traditionally it is served with khichri rice and yogurt kudhee it can be enjoyed with fresh rotli/chapati/flat bread. You can change it up a bit with saffron rice or coconut rice if you preferred. 

For more recipes from the Parsi Food repertoire click The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.


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