A bit late to share a recipe of a seasonal delicacy, the Palli leaves or tender leaves of Chickpeas but then it is better late than never! The season is over but I am still sharing this post as I don’t want this one to become yet another ‘draft post’ waiting for an appropriate time to share it.
Every winter season the elderly in the family would get nostalgic about the Palli and dodoh (patted jowar/riceflour/bajra roti) but I never got a chance to cook or taste palli considering that the greens are available only for a short period of time, when in season and I somehow never came across a bunch of it in the local markets. Maybe I never paid enough attention or maybe I had my eyes only on regular ones like Spinach, Fenugreek, Coriander leaves, Mint, Amaranth etc, ignoring gems like Bhathua, Palli, Purslane and more, as I never had good recipes to cook with such leafy greens.
I am now more drawn towards lesser known local seasonal vegetables and leafy greens as I am able to lay my hands on plenty of recipes and can chew the brains of many virtual friends and some eminent bloggers to guide me about using ingredients that I am not familiar with.
The best thing about creating a food group on Fb is that you not only feel motivated to cook elaborate festive meals on festivals or special occasions, but also get a push to cook seasonal food when you see everyone sharing the same. So when it is a Mango season, you feel tempted to take out those glass barnis and make some khatti bheendi, or Ambryun ji khatairn following the herd. Or when Thadri festival approaches, all the discussions about Lola, dhaiwada etc. motivate you to push your limits and cook every possible traditional dish suited for the occasion. Celebrating Chetichand with Tayri/Tayri becomes mandatory when everyone in the virtual group is making it. It is very difficult to resist the temptation of cooking something that you crave for, when you see others sharing the pictures of it. Yes, the pros and cons of virtual world are unfathomable!
I will be sharing some recipes that I learnt from fellow group members and I hope you will find those helpful and if you have some Sindhi food recipes that are not available on this blog, please do share with me and I will make sure to recreate and share the same, on this blog, of course with due credits to you!
Coming back to Palli, I came across a post by Meena Chijwani who not only shared a recipe of Palli, but also some helpful information on how to pick and clean the leaves.
So this year I kept looking for it in local markets around my home but couldn’t find any tender leaves. Finally I happen to visit the vegetable market in Ulhasnagar with my MIL and she took me to the lady selling drumstick flowers and palli.
And we came back with loads of Swanjhro or Suhanjre ja Gulah and Palli leaves.
Asked few friends from across the border and also read recipes shared by some members in the Sindhi Rasoi Fb group and finally cooked the greens that are very popular in Sindh but less popular in Sindhi families on this side of the border. And when I finally savored the combination I could understand why our grandparents often craved for this.
Special thanks to Meena Chijwani for sharing details about cleaning and cooking palli and nudging me to cook this fabulous subzi! I adjusted the recipe to suit my preferences but the basics of it were adapted from Meena ji‘s recipe.
- 250 gm Palli leaves (with stems)
- 15-20 leaves of spinach
- 3 Large tomatoes
- 2-3 green chilies
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 inch piece of ginger
- 2 tsp cooking oil
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 heaped spoon of coriander powder
- Salt as per taste
- 1 tsp oil/ghee and 3-4 garlic cloves for tempering
- 2 tsp tamarind pulp (optional)*
- To begin with, please buy the fresh, tender and green leaves. If the leaves appear to be pale, yellowish or brownish then totally avoid buying from that lot.
- Carefully pick leaves and discard any tough stems, grass, weed etc. It takes a lot of time to pick/clean Palli. Patience is the key!
- Rinse palli leaves thoroughly with water.
- Discard thick stems of spinach and rinse well. Chop roughly and keep aside.
- In a pressure cooker heat around 2 tsp of oil and add 1 tsp of cumin seeds.
- Add palli and chopped spinach and around 3 large, ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped (or you can use less tomatoes and instead add tamarind pulp later), 2-3 green chilies and finely chopped ginger along with salt, turmeric and coriander powder. Add half a cup of water and close the lid.
- Cook till you hear one whistle of cooker and lower the flame and cook under pressure for 10-15 minutes. Switch off the gas.
- Once the pressure subsides, open the lid of the cooker and mash the subzi with a wooden masher/whisker (Mandhiyaro). Ghotarn (manually mashing with masher) is very important here. You can blend the mix using food processor but I don’t like pureed or paste like texture of greens and hence I avoided using a blender.
- You can add a spoon or two of Jowar flour while mashing palli for better consistency and texture.
- Give a tadka of chopped garlic and you can add some tamarind pulp here. Cook again on medium flame for 5-7 minutes if you add tamarind or if there is any excess water.
- I had it with Juar dodoh (patted jowar flour roti) with some home made white butter and enjoyed a divine meal.
- *Adjust the quantities of tomatoes and tamarind as per your preference. Use less tomatoes if using tamarind.