Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Goosegrass (Galium aparine) aloo saag

Goosegrass or cleavers is a really widespread wild green that can be found abundant in hedges and woods and can be used as a spinach substitute. This is one of the first wild greens to appear in the early spring, and can, moreover, be picked through snow and frost when few other plants are to be found. The leaves should be boiled like spinnich before the hard round seeds. The seeds can also be roasted and used as a coffee substitute.


Ingredients:
50 grams of wild goosegrass leaves (Galium aparine)
3 medium new potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes
Oil or clarified butter
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 lg onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 lg garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 tsp ground coriander seed
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground cardamom seed
1 TBS peeled, minced, fresh ginger
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne or chilli flakes
salt to taste

Chop goosegrass coarsely, place in a colander in the sink, and wash
very well in lukewarm water. Place clean goosegrass in a large pot.
Add potatoes to the goosegrass, cover with warm water, and bring to
a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer, and cook about
12 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Meanwhile heat the oil
or clarified butter in another large, deep saucepan. Add the mustard
seeds and cook them until they start to hop and pop. Add sliced
onion and garlic and saute quickly over fairly high heat until
translucent, stirring often. Add all the spices except salt and
saute a minute more.


Remove from heat. When the potato mixture is tender, drain it in
a colander over the sink. Reheat the onion and spice mixture, add
the potato-goosegrass mixture, and gently stir to blend. Taste and
add salt as desired. Simmer over low heat about 10 minutes, until
the mixture is fairly dry and the spices have been absorbed by the
vegetables.

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