During my usual food blog patrol, I stumbled upon this cool idea for the Monthly Blog Patrol event started by Coffee at The Spice Cafe. July's MBP theme is 'Less is More', and people are invited to cook any recipe from a blogger that has five or less ingredients. The event is being hosted by one of my favorite food bloggers, Nupur at One Hot Stove.
I really like the idea of cooking with less, of using spices only to highlight the main ingredient. It also helped that I'd had my eye on the perfect recipe for a very long time.
I'd first read about Haak, a simple Kashmiri recipe for slow-cooked greens, in Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian. Soon I started noticing it on all over the blogosphere. This Haak is from A Mad Tea Party's recipe, though I subbed the Veri Masala with Jugalbandi's Kashmiri Garam Masala.
Not counting the salt and the oil, Anita's recipe has 6 ingredients. The lack of fresh green chillies in our fridge took care of that, and we ended up with exactly five ingredients:
2 lbs collard greens/kohlrabi greens/dandelion geens, chopped and tough ribs removed (You can leave them whole if tender)
1 tbsp mustard oil
2 dried red chillies, broken
a hefty pinch of powdered asfoetida
1 pinch of soda bi carb
1/2 tsp Kashmiri Garam Masala (or Veri masala)- optional
salt to taste
– Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pan.
– Add asfoetida, red chillies. Let them sizzle.
– Add 1 cup water. Bring it to a boil.
– Add a pinch of soda (it helps retain the fresh green color) and the greens. Stir them around until they wilt, then add salt, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
– Once the greens are done, uncover, turn up the heat to evaporate most of the remaining water.
– Sprinkle the garam masala at the end.
– Serve with steamed rice and yogurt.
We love everything about the haak, the simplicity, the slightly bitter green taste of the collards, the gorgeous flavor that the mustard oil, asfoetida and the red chillies lend the dish. Having lived in Mississippi for a year and eaten a LOT of collard greens in proper southern manner (with cornbread soaking up the pot liquor), this similar yet very different Kashmiri recipe is my new favorite. It even has pot liquor if I decide to soak my rice in it. 🙂