“Simple is best.”
Sage advice and I managed to stick with it this time. This Sabzi is quick, super healthy and a staple at the BHK. All it takes is a little tofu, a scattering of seasonal veggies and a few sprinkles of fine spices.
Sabzi (pronounced ‘sabji’ or ‘chi’, my Hindi is not great) is a simple vegetable curry in India that is the cornerstone of most Indian meals. Sabzi, rice, chappatis, maybe some pickle and dahi (yoghurt), that is a hearty, balanced feast that can be enjoyed everywhere across India. It fuelled me daily and around 1 billion other folk on the sub continent for that matter.
Travelling in India is such a treat for all the senses, especially the belly sense. The smell of toasting chappatis and a bubbling sabzi is a truly magical thing. My best eating experiences in India were sat on the floor, on mats in communal canteens, eating by hand from a metal thali plate or banana leaf, steaming curries and daals served straight out of buckets.
This is a quick and easy Sabzi that I made a little heartier and healthier with the addition of the tofu, a substitute of sorts for paneer. Make sure you get the firm tofu, it comes in many different textures and the firmer the better for cooking. Silken tofu has a lower fat content and will just dissolve (but does make amazing tofu ice cream!)
Sabzi in India is prepared with what is growing locally and seasonally, the only way you can eat in most parts of the world, what you eat is where you are and for that reason, one of the wonderful things about travelling the world. Our choice of veggies here reflects this with some gorgeous local organic tomatoes (plucked from the farms poly-tunnel). The kale was yanked (lovingly) out of the Beach House garden, it’s actually doing quite well now winter is here!? I have alot to learn with plants! We are loving the cavolo nero cabbage that is available at the moment, it’s very dark green which can only be a good thing. It has a really full texture and strong flavour making it perfect for stews, soups and even smoothies.
Oops! I’ve managed to delete the rest of the photos from the camera but the dish is such a winner, I thought I’d share it anyway.
Serves four hungry sorts.
1/2 block of firm tofu (chopped into cubes), 10 stems of kale (sliced), 6 stems of cabbage (like cavolo nero, long leafed is best, sliced), 1 stem celery (chopped), 1 courgette (cubed), 1 onion (chopped), 2 carrots (cubed), 4 tomatoes, 1 inch cube ginger (finely sliced), 4 cloves garlic (crushed), 2 teas turmeric, 1 teas gram masala, 1 teas chilli powder, 1/2 handful of methi leaves (curry leaves), 1/2 cup water, sea salt.
Add onion to the pan on a medium heat, get them nice and glassy, then add your ginger, spices and garlic, fry for a further 3 minutes. Add your courgette, tofu and carrot and fry for 3 minutes, then the methi leaves and the tomatoes and cook this mixture down a little (5 more minutes will do). The pan should be nice and hot, toss the kale and cabbage in along with the water, it should steam up nicely, put on a low the heat and pop a lid on the pan and leave to gently cook for 10 mins. Check seasoning and serve piping hot. This will keep very well overnight and may even be better for a good rest the next day.
With basmati rice (we used wholegrain) and some dahi (yoghurt), mango pickle if you have can. If you have time and the skills, make some fresh chapattis. This type of sabzi would normally be served out of a thali plate, a metal plate with compartments.
We Love It!
Eating Sabzi in Wales is a little like riding an elephant down Caernarfon high street, slightly incongruous yet very satisfying.
Tofu was discovered thousands of years ago in Japan, it is basically curdled soya bean milk. It boasts many health giving properties from a plant based food. Tofu is a brilliant source of protein and calcium. Soy protein can lower your chances of getting a dodgy ticker and has also been shown to help during menopause. Tofu is virtually fat free and contains many anti-oxidants and omega 3 fats.