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Monday, November 12, 2012

Prawn & Saag - an old favourite

I never say no to a prawn dish and when it comes to this curry or 'bhaji', it is another one of those special dishes from my childhood that I remember well.  Saag  pronounced "sarg" is the collective name of a number of green leaves that are wilted through curry dishes like this one.  The most common and familiar is probably spinach but there is vast array of others like mustard leaf and pumpkin leaf too.  Asian green grocers stock many of these varieties which they sell predominantly to their community since they know exactly how to use the different 'saags' in various dishes.  Lal Saag is the leaves of the Amaranth plant - hence the colour - and it is very hard to come by in Australian markets.  Lucky for me, my mother-in-law has been growing a patch of  the red stuff for some time and I frequently get to feast on this delicious dish during harvest time.  Other times of the year this recipe works just as well with regular English spinach although it is not as sweet.  There are minimal spices here as much is relying on the marriage of fresh juicy prawns and the natural sweetness of the saag. 
500g x Prawns, fresh cleaned and shelled
1 tsp x Turmeric powder, plus 1 tsp extra
Salt to taste
500g x Lal Saag or your choice of dark leafy greens
2 tbsp x Mustard Oil, substitute for a fruity olive oil
1 tsp x Mustard seed
1 x Onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves x Garlic, crushed
1 x Chilli, seeds removed and sliced finely
Sprinkle the turmeric evenly over the prawns and add a pinch of salt
Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a wok and toss in the prawns
Lightly cook for about 3 minutes then remove prawns from heat and reserve
In the same wok add the other tablespoon of oil and allow to heat on medium
Add the mustard seeds and stir until they begin to crackle and pop
Follow with the onion, cooking for about 5 minutes
Now add the extra turmeric, garlic and saag folding through to combine
Place a lid on the wok and allow leaves to wilt for about 4-5 minutes
Now return prawns to the wok stir well to combine for 1-2 minutes
Add the fresh chilli and serve hot on a bed of steamed basmati rice.
"This is a very simple version of this dish but it does not discount from its delicious taste.  Check out one of my earlier posts called Silverbeet & Prawn for a more elaborate version that involves a lot more steps but the result is well worth it."

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