Aug 25, 2011
Red Spinach / Red Swiss Chard / Beet Greens Stir Fry (Bajji Upkari)
Red Spinach is a very different from Spinach. Also known as bajji in Konkani, harive soppu in kannada. Unlike spinach the leaves are tough and hold its texture very well. Does not wilt or get mushy like spinach. Here in Los Angeles, these are always available in Chinese or Indian grocery stores.
This Konkani recipe for the stir fry is usually made with Red Spinach. This recipe also goes great with Red Swiss Chard, Beet greens and also Kale! The end product of Red Swiss chard and beet greens is almost same as that of red spinach. But Kale takes a while to cook and is a little chewy.
Below is a picture of the red spinach for you.
The red spinach I found this time were very tender and had thin stems. Always look for the fresh looking greens with thin stems and preferable without any flowers in them. Make sure the leaves do not have tiny wholes or brown spots in them.
1 medium size bunch red spinach or red swiss chard or beet greens
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp urad dal, optional
3 red chillies, broke into pieces or 1 tsp red chilli flakes
1 tsp brown sugar or powdered jaggery
1 tbsp oil
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp shredded coconut fresh or frozen, optional
Pick and clean the leaves. Separate the leaves from the stems. Try to break/snap the stems by hand without using the knife. If they break easy its probably tender and you can use it all. Discard the hard woody stems or use them in a Konkani Style Curry or Gashi. Rinse the leaves and stems in a pot full of water couple of times till the water runs clean of sand. Chop the stems finely about .5 cm and the leaves into 1 inch ribbons.
Heat oil in a skillet. When hot add mustard seeds. When they splutter add the urad dal and fry till golden brown. Now lower the heat and add red chillies, give it few seconds to fry. Add the chopped greens and 1/2 cup of water. Bring it to a boil. Add salt, cook and cover on medium flame for 5-10minutes. Add water as required during the cooking. When the greens are cooked add the brown sugar or jagerry and mix well. Sprinkle fresh coconut on top.