Daal Saag / Lentil Stew with Garbanzo Leaves
Gosh! It seems too early to be really posting a winter dish but my garbanzo/ chickpea plants are getting dry and woody and I wanted to use the tender leaves before I uproot them. Every spring I make a small kitchen garden with selective plants. Since most of them do not survive after the frost its a new effort every year.
There is not a lot of space for my kitchen garden but I choose vegetables that taste better when fresh and quick to grow. I plant tomatoes, few herbs, salad leaves, chillies, couple of veggies, and then I also make an effort to try one or two new plant every year. This year I experimented with chickpeas. I sowed few black chickpeas in early April and got beautiful plants. Unripe chickpeas or green garbanzo are often picked out of the pod and eaten raw as a snack or can be enjoyed in so many different ways. Check out my this, this and this post.
The tender leaves are used raw in salads, cooked in soup or a lentil stew. Lentils cooked with greens is a favorite combination in Punjab for taste and healthy eating.
Daal saag or Chane ka saag as we call this stew, is a comfort food packed with fiber, proteins and vitamins. It is not something many of us would come across very often. I know many of my Indian friends won’t even know that you could make saag (stew) with garbanzo leaves. It’s a simple looking stew with great flavors. I generally use moth daal to make this saag. They are similar to mung beans in terms of shape and size but are brown in color and have strong, earthy aroma and a rich nutty flavor. You can use other lentils but I would not recommend the split variety. Garbanzo leaves with whole lentils is such a good combination, really hearty and delicious at the same time. Pair it with hot makki ki roti , some desi ghee on top and lassi (yogurt drink) for a comforting meal on any winter or rainy day.
A South Asian comfort food which is healthy and packed with fiber, proteins and vitamins.
- 1 cup moth daal, soaked overnight in water
- 2 cup tender chickpea leaves, washed and roughly chopped (can add more)
- 1/3 cup onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 tbsp ginger and garlic, finely chopped
- 1 large tomato, chopped (heaped half cup)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 5 green chillies or red chilli powder to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt to taste
- 2 tbs desi ghee/butter
- Drain soaked lentils, cover with water (approx. 2") in a medium pot. Add garbanzo leaves, turmeric and salt. Bring gently to boil. Turn heat to low, cover pot with lid, leaving slightly uncovered.
- Cook till the lentils are soft. Stir occasionally.
- If more cooking needed and all the water has been soaked up add little more water.
- Blend the lentils and greens with your ladle till the two becomes one (quite stew like). Cook for a further 5 minutes.
- In a small frying pan heat oil over medium heat, add chopped onion, saute for 1 minute.
- Add chopped ginger and garlic, green chillies, stir fry for another minute or until everything turns golden brown.
- Add tomatoes. Cook until they are completely soft.
- Pour this into daal saag. Then stir desi ghee or butter. Let the flavors marinade for a few minutes and then serve with makki ki roti, and a glass of lassi/ yogurt drink for a comforting meal.