Rosun, bori die Lal shaak Bhaja / Sauteed Red Amaranth with garlic and wadi

11:37 AM

some kids are weird, really really weird I tell you.

And one of them is my son. 

When most kids his age run away from greens and bitter gourds, he embraced them with utmost love even before he started to walk. By the time he was three, I had to cook stir-fried bitter gourd (uchhe bhaja) almost every day. He loved it so much that he won't even wait for lunchtime to nibble on them.

Come summer his eyes would light up if he would see lal shaak bhaja on the table. His first question is Kasundi debe to (would you give kasundi or Bengali mustard sauce with it).  He was fascinated with how the white rice would turn many shades of crimson once he would mix the shaak to it. though I had many problems feeding him other stuff, but these items made the lunchtime comparatively easier. Now as 10 years old his love for veggies and food, in general, makes me happy. He appreciates good food and understands the importance of a balanced meal. 

This recipe of lal shaak with garlic is a summer staple. We cook this in different combinations. Sometimes with freshly grated coconut, sometimes with dry roasted peanuts and so on. The idea is to bring in textural difference as shaak/ leafy greens when sauteed wilts and becomes mushy. The fried stuff or crunchy elements provides some variation in texture and makes it interesting to it. 

Now if you are not aware Lal shaak/ Red Amaranth or Red spinach is very high on Iron, vitamin C, and A and other essential nutrients. The version I shared today is cooked with another wonder food the single clove garlic, which again is known for its medicinal value for curing high pressure, cholesterol and heart diseases among other qualities.

Lal Shak Bhaja

Lal shaak: finely chopped (3 cups tightly packed)
Single clove garlic or normal garlic: 3 pods or 2 tsp finely chopped
Bori: sundried lentil dumpling: handful (I used red lentil bori, check HERE) (*see notes)
Salt: as per taste
Mustard oil or white oil: 2 tsp :1 tbsp for frying the bori
Dry red chilies: 2-3

Pick and wash the shaak under running water. Remove the root part and finely chop the rest including the stems and tips. Wash them in 2-3 changes of water.
Peel and roughly chop the garlic.

Heat a tablespoon of oil and on low flame fry the boris till golden brown. Take out with a slotted spoon and keep aside.
Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan or kadhai. Add the garlic and dry red chilies. Cook on medium till the garlic start releasing the aroma. Add the shaak next. Sprinkle salt and cook on medium high for 2-3 minutes by stirring. Once the shaak wilts crank the heat up and fry till the juice dries out. Do not cook for long as the shaak becomes very mushy almost like a paste.

Serve hot with a generous sprinkling of bori bhaja or with Kasundi.

A Homemaker's Notes:
1. instead of bori you can sprinkle some fried peanuts on top.

2. Do not add any turmeric to this dish as the turmeric will ruin the pretty crimson hue the shaak has.

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