Fat-hen saag

garden-natural-light-curve-fix-800x600My vege garden is a living classroom, as I awaken to the energetics of food, I have become increasingly curious and creative about what is growing in the garden especially with plants which I may be conditioned to believing had no nutritional or energetic value.

Most recently fat-hen has entered into our lives, I understand fat-hen as a  very light ethereal plant, underestimated and misunderstood by many folk.   Rambling amongst the snap peas and contemplating at the wonder of fat- hen’s prolific and determined ability to grow so abundantly,  I was beginning to conjure up, how I could best use and balance the very subtle yet determined energetics and nutrition that this wonderful weed has to offer in a sumptuous recipe.

I realised that this highly nutritious plant has been trying to get my attention for some time, as another ally in our family’s dedication to eating foods that nourish and increase sattva. It is of no surprise that at its peak fat hen is available during the late spring/Summer transition with its tangy bitter taste, appropriate for balancing the pitta that loves to play during these seasons. Some nutritional facts about fat-hen Fat henchenopodium album (Amaranthaceae) – goosefoot, lamb’s quarters, pigweed.- has very similar qualities to spinach, and up until the introduction of spinach, fat-hen was and in some parts of the world such as northern India continues to be a staple food source. IMG_1629

 

Nutritional value – A half-cup serving of cooked fat hen contains over 300 mg of calcium and 11,600 IU of vitamin A. In comparison, Swiss chard has 88g calcium and 6,000 IU of vitamin A. Spinach has 93g calcium and 8,000 IU of vitamin A. The greens are also an excellent source of B vitamins, especially riboflavin and folic acid. Energetics– rasa (taste)- bitter

 

Fat-hen rocket kale & spinach saag We loved this recipe, the final result was a tangy, rich and delightfully moorish sauce, post digestion found us feeling very uplifed and light, I teamed the sauce with some roasted vegetables and basmati rice , to bulk up the meal for my hard working man.

This is my seasonal and spring interpretation of the traditional Indian spinach sauce, using ingredients which are luminously tender and prolific in our early spring garden. I was first taught to cook Saag from the wife of my Ayurvedic teacher whom taught us to blanch the greens then quickly immerse them in cold water to preserve the nutrients. I often do this, but with this recipe I had to opt for easy street and instead very gently and slowly cooked down the greens, mostly because my pitta baby whom is 11 months begins, yelling at me if her dinner isn’t ready at the exact point, her hunger sets in and on this day, time was not on my side, if I were to meet her grumbling tum on time.

Ingredients

1 medium onion / 2 tsp freshly grated ginger/ 1/2 tsp coriander /1 tsp grated fresh turmeric / 1/2 tsp fenugreek / 1-2tsp garam masala /1/4 tsp cardamom / approx 2-4 cups of organic mixed greens / 1 cup of organic plain yoghurt / salt to taste On a medium/low heat, slowly sweat down the onions in oil or ghee until they are soft, add the ginger and turmeric cook for two minutes, add the other spices cook until fragrant, add a little water, add the greens in a couple of batches and cook down on a slow/low heat between 10 to 15 minutes or longer it is important to keep the heat low and gentle, when the greens are soft, add the yoghurt and salt to taste and continue to cook down on a very slow heat until a lovely creamy tender consistency, if you need to a little water can be added. For a refined smoother sauce blend it in a food processor. Serve over steaming hot basmati or brown whole grain rice. Also great as a sauce with falafels, pakoras and vegetables. In-joy carmen

 

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