Sunday, January 22, 2017

Stir-Fried Kale Medley with Red Radishes

Stir-Fried Kale Medley with Red Radishes
Kale Medley
The box of kale medley is triple-washed so it can be used straight away without washing. The mixture of young greens are tender and full of flavour. Dried red chilies are deseeded by splitting in half and shaking out the seeds. This reduces the spiciness. Watch them closely while they're sizzling so they don't burn which could reduce you and your audience into a coughing frenzy.

Greens are an essential part of the Indian table. In Bengal they are prepared in a variety of ways of which this stir-fry is the simplest. More exotic forms include meat, poultry, fish heads or homemade cheese (chana/paneer). The general rule is that if you can eat the fruit off the vine, the leaves are also edible.

However, I have first-hand knowledge of how dangerous it is to take this too literally. A member of my extended family watched his wife make a strawberry-rhubarb pie and noticed she was discarding the lovely greens, she had no idea why. He asked her to chop them up and prepare them the same way she would stir-fry spinach. The 'spinach' was relished at dinner that night. Not much later they both developed severe stomach aches and diarrhea which sent them to the emergency room of the closest hospital. After receiving treatment and armed with drugs, they returned home totally famished. They raided the fridge and ate more rhubarb greens before taking to their beds. Lo and behold, they took ill again and headed to the emergency room once more. This time they were grilled by the doctor of all that they had eaten in the last 24 hours. He and his staff were horrified to hear about the rhubarb greens which are extremely poisonous to human beings. Yes, the stalks can be eaten, but never the greens!

This side dish goes perfectly with hot rice or any type of Indian bread.

1 lb. organic kale medley, (baby kale, baby spinach, baby chard & shredded carrots)
1 lb. red radishes, quartered
1 russet potato, diced
1/4 tsp. whole Bengali 5 spice/panch phoron (nigella, fennel, fenugreek, cumin & mustard seeds)
2 whole dried red chilies, deseeded
1 large onion, minced
3 green chilies, minced
1 large tomato, minced
2 tsp. ginger paste
1 tsp. roasted Bengali 5 spice/panch phoron powder
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
salt to taste

  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat and temper with panch phoron and red chilies.
  2. Add green chilies and onions, followed by ginger paste and tomatoes.
  3. Add red radishes and potatoes, stir, cover and cook until vegetables are al-dente.
  4. Add all the greens, cover and allow to reduce to half the quantity.
  5. Give it a good stir and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  6. Make a well in the center and move all the greens to the edges of the skillet.
  7. The juices will pool in the center and evaporate in a few minutes.
  8. Adjust salt to taste, stir well and garnish with roasted panch phoron powder.
Serve as a side dish with hot rice or chapatis.

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