Aloo Sag (Indian potatoes)

Ahh, relish the break from squash recipes! I have tons up my sleeve (and in draft form on my computer). The reality is, squash is now just a part of my every day life, and I’d have to increase my blog postings 7x to get all the ways I prepare it to you. Frankly, that sounds exhausting – its hard enough cooking all of it, much less posting! But I’m trying to be better about it, really! So instead of more squash pictures, lets enjoy some pictures of the heirloom zinnias that I’m successfully growing this year.

Something I’ve noticed about Santa Barbara is that people really like the barter system. I see it all over – the neighborhood garden exchanges. On Craigslist. In my work. And the barter that the athlete in me benefits the most from: my massage therapist. I see her every 4-6 weeks or so, and in exchange for a painful (but very effective) sports massage, I cook her food. Sometimes she’s craving something in particular, and other times she just asks for “something healthy.” Last week, she asked if I knew how to make Indian food – a chicken curry perhaps?

Fortunately, I knew that one of my friends has a beautiful Indian cookbook – complete indian cooking. I picked out a recipe, Kashmiri chicken, that seemed like it wasn’t overly challenging but looked tasty. As it was finishing up, I decided to quickly make something else to go with it. I chose Aloo Sag because it featured ingredients I had on hand (mainly freshly-dug potatoes and chard) and was fairly easy to assemble. I think this could accompany a number of things – even some fried eggs (its sort of like breakfast potatoes with an Indian twist). Oh yeah, and it would be great to go camping with!

Aloo Sag (adapted from complete indian cooking)

6 tablespoons oil

1 onion, chopped

1 inch piece of fresh ginger root, chopped

2 fresh green chiles, finely chopped (I actually just sprinkled in chile powder)

1 tsp turmeric

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 pound potatoes, cut into small pieces

1 pound fresh spinach or chard

Heat the oil in a lidded skillet, add the onion, and cook until soft. Add the ginger, chiles, turmeric, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and salt to taste, stir well, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Add chard or spinach to the potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, until both vegetables are tender.

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