Nettle pesto, Nettle soup, Nettle frittata, Nettle ravioli.… running out of ideas?
I’ve been enjoying this easy recipe ever since my Indian guest taught me his grandmother’s recipe. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t met this dish until then even though I’d been an avid eater of Indian food. Often, some dishes we eat everyday don’t get a spotlight because they are so common and humble. Don’t you think?
Whenever there’s something green. I tend to whizz it all up with fragrant cumin seeds, peppercorns, curry leaves, yogurt and coconut.
How can such a simple dish be so delicious, satisfying and comforting all at the same time? If you haven’t made this, I hope you’ll start making it because it’s so good and addictive.
Whenever I go to the market, I come home with wild greens. I just can’t help myself. How am I going to eat all this?! I’ll make our family recipe, nettle borek, when hubby comes home, but for the time being, I thought I’d make a quick tambuli for lunch.
I’ll explain how to make it with photos. I’ve become kind all of a sudden, haven’t I?
It’s very flexible and versatile, so you can adjust ingredients to your taste. But this recipe is shared in the honour of his grandmother.
What you need:
a handful of nettle
one bulb of green garlic
1 spring onion
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
a few black peppercorns
1 green or red chilli(optional)
1-2 curry leaves
2-3 Tbsp coconut flakes
1/2 cup yogurt
a pinch of asafoetida(optional), sea salt
for the tempering, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 2 tsp ghee or coconut oil
Don’t panic! It’s not going to bite you! After washing it, using tongs, put some into a pot and pour boiling water and wait for a minute. Squeeze out the liquid and pick the leaves and put them into a food processor.
Trim the garlic by peeling the membrane and separate the cloves. Don’t throw away the membrane! Fry it with spring onion later. The yellow bottle is asafoetida (aka. hing), which is an unusual spice. I call it Indian MSG because a little touch makes everything delicious, haha!
Now, fry chopped spring onion with cumin seeds, black peppercorns, chili, and curry leaves with ghee or coconut oil. If you use other greens like spinach, you can add it fresh.
When the veggies are soft and the spices are fragrant, add it to the food processor with yogurt and coconut. Whizz it all up till it becomes smooth paste. Add a little water if it’s thick, and season with salt. I added some mint for a change this time.
Now it’s the fun messy part, tempering. You’ll fry the mustard seeds with ghee or coconut oil but be warned they will pop and go all over the stove. It will be very messy! So make sure you cover it when frying.
At this point, you can throw in the garlic, if using, and wait for the popping sound to subdue.
Voila, nicely browned and fragrant garlic!
Doesn’t it look pretty? Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring, right? It’s soooo yummy!
In India, it’s eaten cold with rice or dip papadum, but you can dip anything in it, or even eat it with a spoon like soup.
As I mentioned, you can make this with spinach, mint, kale, coriander, anything green. But I’ve made it with broccoli once as well. It’s supposed to be green but I’m sure you can use different vegetables as on this blog. Hmm, the okra tambuli sounds interesting.
I hope you enjoyed this short, simple and helpful recipe post. Happy cooking with healthy spring greens!