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Saturday Fare

Recipes by Mridula Baljekar

Mridula Baljekar

Butter Beans with Spinach (Pavta-Palak)

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Serves: 4

Each serving containsKcals: 170; g fat: 7; g saturated fat: 3

Ingredients:

  • 5cm piece of cinnamon stick (dalchinikidandi)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (bareekkate hue pyaaz)
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger Puree (adrakki puree)
  • 1-2 green chillies, seeded and finely chopped (chhile hue aurbareekkate hue harimirch)
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric (peesi hui haldi)
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder (mirch powder)
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Roasted Cumin (bhune hue and peese hue jeere)
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Roasted Coriander (bhune hue and peese hue dhaniyekebeej)
  • 225g tomatoes, skinned and chopped, or canned chopped tomatoes with their juice (chhile hue, and bareekkate hue tamatar)
  • 1 teaspoon salt to taste (namakswaadanusaar)
  • 250g spinach, finely chopped, or frozen leaf spinach (bareekkate hue paalak)
  • 400g can butter beans, drained and well rinsed (dhule hue beans)
  • 75ml single cream substitute
  • 75ml warm water (gungunapaani)

Method:

  • In a non-stick saucepan, heat the oil over lowheat, then add the cinnamon stick and let itsizzle for 20-25 seconds. Add the onion, gingerpuree and green chillies. Increase the heatslightly and fry for 5-6 minutes, stirringregularly to ensure even cooking
  • Stir in the turmeric, chilli powder, cuminand coriander. Cook for 30 seconds beforeadding the tomatoes. Continue to cook for4-5 minutes, stirring frequently
  • Add the salt and spinach, and stir until thespinach wilts. Cover the pan and reduce theheat to low, then cook for 10 minutes
  • Add the butter beans, cream substitute andwater. Re-cover and cook for a further 10minutes. Serve with any bread or Cumin-Coriander Rice

Spiced Pears (MasaledarNaspati)

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes, plus chilling

Serves: 6

Each serving contains:Kcals: 200; g fat: 3; g saturated fat: 1.8

 

Ingredients:

7.5cm piece of cinnamon stick, halved (dalchinikidandi)

2 star anise (chakra phool)

4 tablespoons sugar (chini)

250ml low-fat fromagefrais (cream cheese)

2 tablespoons roohafza or 3 tablespoons rose-flavoured syrup (gulab syrup)

A few crystallized rose petals, to decorate (gulabkepankhude)

Method:

  • Peel, quarter and core the pears. Put them in saucepan and add the remaining ingredients,except the fromagefrais and roohafza. Cover and simmer gently until the pears are al dente
  • Use a draining spoon to transfer the pears to a dish. Strain the strup into a small saucepanand boil until it is reduced to about 3 tablespoons. Spoon it over so the pears and allow to cool,then chill for 2 hours
  • Mix the fromagefrais and roohafzatogether and spoon into a small serving dish so thatdiners can help themselves
  • Arrange the pears in individual serving dishes and decorate with rose petals if wished