Laal saag (red spinach), with its delightful color, adds sparkle to any meal it is served with. This Bihar-style easy red spinach stir fry is one of my favorites ways to have this veggie.
The sharpness of mustard oil adds an interesting counterpoint to the neutral earthiness of red spinach. There aren’t too many other ingredients in this recipe, which lets these two flavors stand out.
- Red spinach – 1 large bunch
- Red chili powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt – to taste
- Dry red chilies – 2
- Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Asafoetida – a pinch
- Mustard oil – 1 tablespoon
Break the dry red chilies into 3-4 pieces.
Wash the spinach well. Set aside the root/thick stems. Chop the tender stems and spinach leaves.
In a wide pan, heat a tablespoon of mustard oil. When hot, reduce heat and add cumin seeds, broken dry red chilies and asafoetida powder.
As soon as the cumin seeds sizzle, add red chilli powder into the hot oil and immediately add chopped spinach. Sprinkle salt to taste. Stir fry on on medium heat till the spinach leaves wilt and the water that spinach releases has evaporated – this will take just a few minutes.
Laal saag is ready to eat. Serve on the side with chapatis or rice.
My meal today: brown rice, lal saag, yogurt and a green chili:
Laal saag is fun to mix and eat with white rice – it colors the rice a beautiful deep pink!
You could follow the same recipe for hara saag (green spinach).
Mustard oil adds its own distinctive taste to dishes and is the most-used cooking medium in Bihar. If you take to it, you will love these recipes that use this oil to great effect: ole (yam) chutney, raw jackfruit curry, red pumpkin mangodi curry.