Green Vegetables is one most important and vital ingredient that we need to include in our diet. They are highly nutritious and provide fiber, essential vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium and magnesium added to any meal. Indian cuisine is popularly known for using a wide variety of green vegetables in their cooking. Leafy greens are commonly known as Saag in Hindi and includes a variety of greens like spinach, fenugreek leaves, mustard leaves, amaranth leaves, sorrel leaves etc.
Leafy greens provide protection against diseases like high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes etc. In India, Spinach is extensively used in making a variety of dishes. It is commonly known as Palak or palak koora. Palak when added to lentils or other veggies gives amazing taste and flavor. Palak is highly nutritious and contains vitamins A, C as well as folate and iron.
Spinach is an edible flowering plant in the family of Amaranthaceae. It is native to central and southwestern Asia. Spinach is thought to have originated in ancient Persia (modern Iran). Arab traders carried spinach into India, and then the plant was introduced into ancient China, where it was known as "Persian vegetable". The earliest available record of the spinach plant was recorded in Chinese, stating that it was introduced into China via Nepal (probably in 647 AD).
Spinach is a versatile ingredient and can be added to any vegetarian or non-vegetarian dish. Some of the popular dishes include palak dal, palak paneer, palak gosht, palak pakoda etc. Methi is a very popular green herb which is also commonly known as fenugreek leaves in English, menthya in Kannada, menthe akulu in Telugu. They are used in making a lot of dishes in India.
Aloo methi is a very popular dish or the methi chicken is a very yummy and refreshing dish especially prepared during special occasions in north India. Methi chaman is yet another popular dish. The names of dishes would go never ending as fenugreek leaves add a lot of nutrition and is rich source of protein, iron and calcium. In Indian cuisine, we use both the leaf and the spice as it has a slight sweet and bitter taste.
Amaranth or Thotakura in Telugu or Kuppacheera in Malayalam is scientifically known as the Amaranthus viridis (green Amaranthus). This is a leafy green vegetable that is traditionally eaten as vegetable in South India. In Andhra Pradesh, this leaf is known as the Thotakura and traditionally prepared with dal and is commonly known as Thotakura pappu.
In Maharashtra, it is called the "Shravani Maath" that grows in the month of Shravan and is available in both red and white colors. Khada saga (in Oriya) is used to prepare 'Saga Bhaja', in which the leaf is fried with chillies and onions. Hulee, playa or Majjigay hulee are various curries that are prepared with these greens in Karnataka. In Tamilnadu, it is called and is regularly consumed as a favorite dish, where the greens are steamed, mashed, with light seasoning of salt, red chillies and cumin.
It is called keerai masial. Root of mature amaranth is an excellent vegetable. It is white in color and is cooked with tomatoes or tamarind gravy. It has a milky taste and is alkaline. Sorrel leaves, commonly known as Gongura in Telugu or Khatta Saag in Hindi. Gongura or the red sorrel is known by various names like the ambadi or pulicha keerai in various parts of India which comes in two varieties namely the green leaf and the red variety. The red variety is sourer than the green leaves. The leaves are bitter, mildly astringent and acidic in taste. The gongura leaves holds a special place in the Andhra cuisine.
Gongura pacchadi is quintessentially a special delicacy of the Telugu cuisine which is a part of many feast or festivals. Gongura is widely consumed all over Andhra Pradesh and is one of the special dishes in many hotels, restaurants, eateries and food joints. The gongura is known as Puntikura in the Telengana region of Andhra Pradesh and is a very rich source of Iron, vitamins, folic acid and anti-oxidants essential for human nutrition.
Similarly it is called as Pulichakeerai in Tamilnadu and is very popular over the state. The famous combination with "pulichakeerai" is "Ragi Kali/Ragi Mudde", which once used to be a regular food for the people in villages. This is also popularly known as Ambaadi bhajji in Maharashtra state. It is a summer crop, and the hotter the place, the more sour the leaf gets.
Other well known recipes made with Gongura as the main ingredient are Gongura Pappu (Lentils), Gongura mamsam (goat/mutton) and Gongura royyalu (shrimp). In recent times, Gongura Chicken is also being served in restaurants. Gongura and calabash is extremely popular with the Telugu community in South Africa. Apart from the curries there are many varieties of pickles made with gongura such as Gongura pachadi, Gongura pickle ambadi.
Indian mustard greens which is commonly known as Sarson ka Saag have stems with tough skins, which, along with the leaves, must be chopped very fine, and steamed till tender. Milder tasting spinach is added to the mustard greens to reduce bitterness. It is slightly tangy in taste and is cooked as a pureed vegetable and eaten with corn bread (Makki ki Roti).Leafy greens are amazingly bright, vibrant-looking and tastes absolutely good when added to various vegetables, lentil or meats. Listed below are some very popular and easy leafy greens dishes that are my favourite dishes too.
Methi Paratha Methi paratha is Indian flaky, flat bread made up of whole wheat flour and fenugreek greens or methi leaves. Methi paratha is a North Indian dish and popularly made during breakfast and can be eaten during lunch and dinner.
Methi Chaman Methi Chaman is very simple dish easy to cook where fenugreek and spinach leaves are blanched and pureed. Oil is tempered with cumin seeds and chopped onion nicely fried. Puree is then cooked in the oil along with few ground spices. Finally paneer and cream is added to the gravy to give richness to the dish.
Gongura Mutton – Sorrel leaves lamb curry Gongura mamsam is a spicy lamb curry with the distinctive taste of it main ingredient gongura or sorrel leaves.
Gongura Pickle – Ambadi Gongura is also known as Sorrel leaves, Hibiscus cannabinus, pulicha keerai, ambadi (in Hindi). Sorrel leaves comes in two varieties, one is the green leaf and other red variety which is sourer than the green variety. Gongura is a very popular authentic Andhra pickle and available in abundance. They are used for preparing curries, dals, stews and spicy meat preparations.
Gongura Pappu Gongura Pappu is a popular Andhra dish made with dal (lentil) stew and sour greens gongura (a leafy vegetable with a nice sour and tangy taste).
Khatti Palak Chutney Chukka koora Khatti Palak is also known as chukka koora, ambat chukka, green sorrel etc. Chukka kura looks just like spinach or palak but is sour in taste This green leafy vegetable is available in Andhra and a variety of dishes are prepared with it like Chukka kura pappu (a dal with green sorrel), lamb with chukka kura. Chukka koora is extremely sour leafy green vegetable round thick leaves; light green in color and very easy to cook. With a garlicy flavor, a good balance of tart and spice, freckled with a colorful spice tempering and curry leaves, chukkakura chutney can be savored with hot rice, a generous helping of melted ghee and chopped raw onions.
Palak Paneer Paratha An whole wheat flour Indian flat bread stuffed with a mix of spinach and paneer (Indian cottage cheese)
Corn and Spinach Souffle
Crepes with Spinach and Mushroom Corn Stuffing For an elegant brunch treat, serve these delicious crepes with their savory filling and delicate white sauce. It is not only delicious but also very healthy as it is packed with spinach, mushrooms and corn stuffed inside crepes.
Palak Anda Curry – Egg and Spinach Curry Palak saag is very easily combined with egg and churn out a beautiful master piece. Egg chamman is also commonly known as Anda Saag wala which consists of boiled egg cooked in a combination of spicy spinach creamy thick gravy. An amazing combination that can be eaten with roti, chapatti, naan or phulkas.
Spinach Knol Khol Vegetable Kohlrabi (knol khol) is a perennial vegetable, and is a low, stout cultivar of cabbage. Kohlrabi can be eaten raw as well as cooked. Knol khol cooked with spinach will gives a good flavours. It can be savored with Brown Rice and Dal and consumed as a major meal.
Thotakura Amaranthus Pappu Thotakura which is referred as Amaranth (in english) is a delicious leafy vegetable related to spinach family and is used a lot. Thotakura Pappu is a delectable blend of green leaves and lentils cooked with spices. This is a popular dish from the Andhra cuisine. Cooked amaranth leaves are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate; they are also a complementing source of other vitamins.
Mixed Greens – Sai Baaji This traditional Sindhi recipe is a good combination of leafy vegetables with dal which provides plenty of calcium, protein, iron and vitamin A. Relish it with steamed rice or any kind of roti.
4 Paneer Makhani Hariyali Hariyali paneer makhani is a punjabi paneer recipe with succulent paneer cubes cooked in creamy green gravy. The gravy is prepared by mixing spinach and makhan( cream) and is aptly spiced to suit every palate.
Cashew Makai Phool Saag Lotus seed pops and whole cashew nuts combine in a silky saag made of spinach and other greens delivers a superb dish.
Dahi Masala Hara Kofta Curry Thotakura masala/ Dahi masala hara koftas is an excellent and classic green vegetable kofta curry made with the some exotic flavours from the amaranth leaves added to spices and chickpea flour; deep fried in roundel shapes and cooked in yogurt based gravy that balances the taste. Amazing spiced amaranth kofta dumplings cooked in exotic yogurt based saucy gravy is bliss to the taste buds. Goes extremely well with rice, roti, chapatti etc!
Green Peas & Saag Masala Curry A popular north Indian dish made with green peas cooked in creamy, silky saag (leaf-based) masala curry.
Aloo Chole Saagwala Aloo Chole Saagwala is a very popular and common dish in the Punjabi cuisine served in most restaurants made with a mix of potatoes and Kabul channa in awesome saag gravy or chaman masala made with spinach and spices. Saag means a leaf based dish eaten in South Asia with roti or naan.
Saag Paneer with Sour Greens – Gongura Paneer Curry An amazing and tangy dish made with paneer nicely coated with gongura spicy sauce.
Chinta Chiguru Mamsam – Mutton with tender tamarind leaves Chinta chiguru mamsam, a classic dish from the Andhra cuisine, meat cooked with tender tamarind leaves. It has a unique taste and freshnes in the dish.
Chintachiguru Pachadi Chinta chiguru pachadi is a fantastic tangy-spicy pachadi made with the tender tamarind leaves commonly known as chinta chiguru, imli ke patte.
Prawns with Tender Tamarind Leaves Prawns delicately cooked in saucy gravy made of tender tamarind leaves commonly known as chinta chiguru. This dish is tangy to taste and flavorful.
Tender Tamarind Leaves Dal Lentils cooked with tender tamarind leaves. Tastes extremely well with rice or roti.
Prawns – Shrimp cooked in sour greens gongura Gongura Prawns also popularly known as gongura royyala kura is a winner and exotic dish from the Andhra cuisine. It is an amazing dish where the luscious prawns/ shrimp are cooked in a thick, tangy gongura sauce. This dish is generally served dry or with gravy and is a wonderful accompaniment to chapatti or rice.
Aloo ka Path Pathe Taro root leaves cooked in Maharashtrian style Aloo ka Path is a typical Maharashtrian dish also known as Aloo Arbi Pathe ka Amti made with the leaves of arbi plant and spices. This is an incredible dish of Taro root leaves cooked in Maharashtrian style. In this recipe, the taro root leaves are finely chopped and cooked in an array of ingredients and amazing aromatic Indian spices. Aloo ka path is an excellent curry united with an assortment of flavours releasing from a variety of ingredients such as bitterness from fenugreek seeds, spiciness from red chilli powder, green chillies and goda masala, tanginess from tamarind sauce and sweetness from jaggery. It's a thrilling and delectable thick saucy curry that goes very well with roti, bhakri, jowar ki bhakri, chapatti or rice. A medley of flavours that would be a delight to your taste buds, refreshing and stimulating to the palate.
Drumstick Greens Sundal Curry Murungai keerai Sundal curry is a very popular and authentic dish of the Tamilians. Sundal or chickpeas or kondakadalai or any type of dal cooked along with the tender leaves of drumstick tree are highly nutritious and made with grams (chickpeas) soaked overnight and then boiled. It is then cooked and tossed in a mildly spiced seasoning mixture along with freshly grated coconut and served. Chickpeas/any types of dal are always tasty and a very versatile ingredient. Murunga keerai sundal curry makes a great side dish that can be eaten with rice, chapatti or roti.
Drumstick Leaves Adai Drumstick leaves Adai is popularly known as Murungai Keerai Adai in southern India. It is an exceptional crepe made from the combination of at least two lentils and rice; drumstick leaves added in the batter and cooked to perfection makes this dish remarkably nutritious. Traditionally this is a tiffin dish usually had for breakfast. This variation of adai taste good when you use a little extra oil and cook it on low flame. The fresh ground coconut gives a nice crunch when you bite into the adai. Drumstick leaves are rich in iron compared to other greens. This adai goes well with sambar, chutney etc.
Aloo Vadi – Steamed Vegetable Leaf Roll Alu Vadi (patra) is a steamed vegetable leaf roll recipe with the aloo or colocasia leaves rolled up one after another after getting smeared with a besan paste. These aloo patras are then cut into small spices and then steamed or deep fried as desired.
Chowlichi Paan Baaji – Cowpea Leaves Curry Chowlichi Paan Baaji is a typical and appetizing green leafy dry curry made with cowpeas leaves and amaranth leaves cooked together with spices. This is a very popular Maharashtrian dish and often cooked during season.
Sambhar with Greens A traditional lunch menu of South India is incomplete without sambar and usually sambar is prepared using a variety of vegetables, okra sambar being one such. Greens are used in the preparation of keerai sambar. Healthy greens combined with dal, make this a wholesome lunch menu. Do give this drumstick greens i.e. murungai keerai sambar a try.
Do try these delectable and appetizing health and nutritious recipes and encourage kids eating greens every day.
You get hold of some of your favourite recipes,
You could always reach me at my below links: My Cooking Videos Indian Recipes Indian Food Regional Indian Cuisines VahChef Sanjay Thumma
Enjoy Cooking! Keep Smiling…