Curried Marrow and Saag at Salop Drive September 2012
Curried Marrow and Seasonal Green Leaves for Saag
My family are from a farming background. When we go back to India we spend time in the city but also visit our farming villages in rural Punjab and Rajasthan. About 15 years ago, village life was quite basic including open fires for cooking. Our families cook what they grow and even prepare fresh butter from cow's milk in the morning.
Times have changed - continuous electricity and gas have arrived. But cooking skills have been maintained. My sisters and I are still amazed at the variety of ingredients our parents and Aunts are able to use to transform vegetables and pulses into wholesome, delicious food.
So, for this year's Harvest festival at Salop Drive, it made sense to invite mum to demonstrate how to prepare seasonal vegetables. Tim who runs this 2 acre working market garden, was pleased when she decided to opt for a marrow dish.. 'people don't know what to do with marrow so we can never sell it' and a selection of green leaves for 'saag.' Visitors to the allotment loved the dishes and we even had to prepare a second round for food tasters.
A medium sized marrow is ideal for this dish. It has soft seeds which can also be included in the dish. A large, over-ripe marrow will have a fibrous centre and hard seeds which will need to removed if used. Be careful when peeling the marrow as the skin is quite tough however, it is possible to use the softer skin of a younger marrow in this dish.
- 1 medium marrow peeled and chopped into half inch or bite sized pieces
- 2 medium onions roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon of oil - rape seed or sunflower is preferable
- 1 - 2 inch piece of ginger finely chopped or grated
- 4 cloves of garlic chopped fine
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- 2- 3 teaspoons of madras curry powder or any other spice equivalent that you use when preparing curry
- 2 teaspoons of dried mango powder (Amchoor) - this can be purchased from Indian shops if you are unable to access this use, lemon juice
- Chilies to taste (optional)
- Chopped corriander to garnish
- Mum says add salt to taste but actually, I think it isn't necessary as there is so much flavour here!
- In a wide based pan fry the cumin and chopped garlic in the oil over a medium heat
- When the garlic has lightly browned add everything else (apart from the amchoor).
- Stir so the vegetables are combined well with the spices
- Lower the heat, cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
- Stir every five minutes to prevent the marrow from sticking to the bottom of the hot pan - if the marrow appears to be getting too dry add half a cup of water. Refer to the picture alongside for reference
- In the final five minutes add the mango powder/amchoor
- Add the chopped corriander to garnish
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