Sunday, February 15, 2015

Stir-Fried Red Swiss Chard with Shrimp and Eggplant

Chingri Begun Laal Shaak er Chochori

Luck was on my side when I went shopping for fresh vegetables a few days ago. There was a good looking bunch of red Swiss chard which immediately evoked images of a stir-fry with eggplant and shrimp. The stems and backs of the leaves were beet red and the surface of the leaves were green with red veins. 

When I looked up the definition of Laal (red) Shaak (spinach) on the Internet the English equivalent was Red Amaranth or Red Swiss Chard. 

All spinach or greens need to be thoroughly washed. Fill the sink or a large pan with cold water and drop the spinach into the water as it is being chopped. Dunk the chopped spinach in the water several times. The spinach rises to the top and any sediment present will sink to the bottom of the pan. Transfer the spinach to a colander to drain.

Vegetarians and Vegans can omit the shrimp for a tasty & nutritious meal. 

1 bunch red Swiss chard, chopped, rinsed thoroughly & drained
1 Oriental eggplant, cubed
8 oz. medium (26-30 count) shrimp, shelled & de-veined
1 large onion, diced
1 tsp. garlic paste
1 hot green chili, diced
1/4 tsp. turmeric
salt to taste
2 + 2 + 2 Tbsp. light olive oil
1/4 tsp. panch phoron (Bengali whole 5 spice)
1/4 tsp. toasted panch phoron powder
1 tsp. ghee
2 green chilies, slit

  1. Toss shrimp with salt & turmeric and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil over medium-high heat & stir-fry shrimp until pink.
  3. Remove shrimp from skillet and heat another 2 Tbsp. oil.
  4. Fry eggplant cubes until golden brown and set aside.
  5. Heat remaining oil in same skillet & sputter green chilies & panch phoron.
  6. Add onions, garlic, spinach & salt, cover & cook until stems are tender.
  7. Return eggplant & shrimp to skillet, add toasted panch phoron powder, stir & cook for another 5 minutes.
  8. Adjust salt to taste & garnish with ghee & slit green chilies.  
Serve with hot Basmati rice or chapatis/tortillas.