Sunday, June 17, 2007

Stalking in Cyberspace

Ok, ok, the title was just a piece of sensationalism! All I wanted to say was that the answer to the question in my previous post is 'stalks'. GD and Mamatha got it right. Congratulations! They are the stalks of Malabar Spinach .

As the post was an afterthought, I didn’t take any pictures of the leafy greens or the stalks but you can see a good, clear picture here. We usually make a stir-fry or gravy of this with amaranth stalks but this time, after I finished using the leaves in daal, the stalks looked too good and fresh to throw away, so I used them for this stir-fry with a bit of the daal I had soaked for the main dish a little earlier.

Funnily enough, the stalks reminded me a lot of ladies’ fingers/okra – they gave off a bit of slime when I tossed them in the pan but gradually the goo wore off and I was rewarded with a crunchy, bright, dry stir-fry that was great with curds/yoghurt but can also be used as an accompaniment with a sambar or chaaru/rasam. It can even be served with plain rice.

Stalks, chopped – 2 cups
Toor daal/yellow lentils – a fistful, soaked for about 30-40 minutes
Garlic – 3-4 cloves, bruised/chopped
Red chillies – 3-4, broken
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Split urad daal/black gram - 1 tsp
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Salt, to taste
Oil – 1-2 tsp

***A frying pan with a lid.

Heat oil, add mustard seeds.

Once they splutter, add the black gram, brown.

Add the red chillies and garlic.

Now add the daal with just enough water – it should cover the daal, but barely. Lower the flame.

Cover, and let the daal cook till it’s soft but not mushy. (It should hold its shape.) The test – if it’s not done, it will have a spot in the centre – boil till that spot disappears and the colour is uniform.

Now add the stalks, sprinkle some water, saute. Add salt and chilli powder. Cover.

Keep checking to see that the stalks don’t stick to the pan – sprinkle some more water if they do. Cook covered.

I didn’t cook it too long so there was quite a lot of bite and crunch in them, you can go in for a softer version.

I’m sending this off to Kalyn’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Rachel’s Bite. Bon appetit!


  1. Great!! I never win!!;D
    I don't get those stalks here but I have planted some Amaranth this Summer!Hopefully,I will get enough to cook with it!!:D
    looks great.Enjoy.Happy Father's day to your dad!:)

  2. hey, that looks like a nice dal/veg combo :)

  3. Yes, it was a sensational title! For a moment, I was worried for you. The leaves look very much like typical spinach. If I had seen a photo and guessed that, I still would have lost on a technicality. : }

  4. ohhh my...lovely recipe...looks so nice...thanks for sharing

  5. As usual, your title got me here :)
    I have not seen this variety in our indian store here....btw, read how I made you deviate from your healthy eating path...hehhe...can u see an impish smile on my face ? :)


  6. Sra, I cooked some of this spinach today with dal :) we call it thick-leaf calaloo. We usually throw away the stalks, I never knew they can be cooked.

    Your dish with it looks really good.

  7. Nice and simple recipe Sra. Great entry too. Viji

  8. So I was wrong again :) never seen this vegetable here. Sabzi is looking nice:)

  9. Asha, best of luck! Spoke to your dad? I did!
    Richa, thanks.
    Susan, yeah, nothing like a bit of sensationalism to perk up things!
    Thank you, Dilipji!
    Mishmash, I can, I can - and I had only sweets for dinner last night too!
    Cynthia, thanks. I just read about calaloo in a book called 'Rise and Shine' by Anna Quindlen - she called it a vegetable and the setting was Jamaica. Then on the Web, I saw it's also called Elephant Ear and now you mention it - what a coincidence!
    Thanks, Viji!
    Archana, really? I was wondering if it had a Hindi name.

  10. lol sra, I came here for some juicy stalking story :) But that picture looks great... I thought it was green beans!

  11. Your title is too much...hehehe...:-)..

  12. LOL... i thought u have taken some new job when i saw that title;) now i know what's it all about;)
    u used malbar/chinese spinach to make stir-fry???? its too fiberous, i wonder how u ate this small pieces:) i like its sambar where u can use both leaves n stem. mmm... bad luck:( we dont get it here:( care to send some across sra dear??? :)

  13. I would have never been able to guess the ingredients or the dish. It looks awesome. Have a great week!

  14. Sig, juicy story? Me? I must be one of the most straightlaced persons around here, whattodo, i yam like dis onlly! Thanks for the compliment on the pic.
    Santhi, thanks. That's about as juicy and adventurous as I get.
    Sia, my Dad too sounded incredulous when I said they were malabar spinach stems and not amaranth stems. Do give me your address, promise I won't stalk you! ;)
    Paz, thanks. You have a great week too!

  15. I first thought it was dry snake gourd curry.. one of my aunt's snakegourd curry looks like this.. I could have never guessed that it was stalks of spinach... good one Sra

  16. That title hooked me straightaway... ha ha!

  17. hey never heard of this. wiki pic is not clear. post the pic of this spinach if you get again. nice recipe.

  18. Now thats stalkingly amazing way to use stalks ;) And I couldn't have even though of it in my dreams :)

  19. O o this is looking great....Love it...I don't think this stalks is avl. at my place...

  20. That title got me here!! :)

  21. That was the greatest title ever...very clever :)

  22. hi Sra, Looks good and also seems easy to make. I am with Sharmi, couldn't make much of the wiki pic. Do post a photo when you get it next time.

  23. Prema, thank you. I didn't think of snakegourd - you've given me an idea. Thanks for your other comments on the previous two posts!
    Mallika, nothing like a misleading but perfectly apt headline, is there?
    Sharmi, I had also linked to Swapna's blog, where she has a nice, clear picture - I've made the link bold now, you can see it just below the photo.
    Coffee, thanks!
    Sukanya, it's pasalakkerai/bachalikoora, you don't get it?
    Sandeepa, merci beaucoup!
    SJ, thanks, it is easy, yes. I do have a link to a clear picture - just check below the photo - it's from Swapna's blog, Tastes from My Kitchen.

  24. But I will post a picture when I get it next time!

  25. I am barely getting caught up on reading these! This does look like it would be so tasty. Great idea.

  26. Kalyn, thanks. It's very light on the stomach!


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