The thing about tasty, soul-satisfying food is that it it never complicated. Neither to make, nor on the palate. It is usually just simple everyday ingredients put together to create something that is wholesome, nutritious, tasty, and satisfying. Sagpaita is one such thing.
I grew up eating Sagpaita. In my dadi’s sprawling bungalow in Kanpur, at the duplex father rented in Allahabad, a portion of a fancy house in Fatehgarh, and atop the bank building in Farrukhabad — it was made everywhere as a part of our daily food list… nothing fancy or elite. Needless to say I carried it with me to the Bengali family I married in, as I set up my own kitchen. Here too it was loved by all.
So, when I heard about Dal day a few days back, I thought of a region specific, family specific dal to cook, and Sagpaita was naturally my choice. More so because it is winter and the markets are flooded with fresh spinach.
What is sagpaita but? Nothing but a simple dal made with split urad and fresh chopped spinach. Tempered with whole red chilli and garlic, eaten with thick chupdi rotis. The mere thought of it is making my mouth water.
Anyway, let me not digress. So I plan to make this unique dal of UP tomorrow in #dalday and am sharing the recipe if you want to make it too.
Black split urad – 1 cup
Fresh spinach – 1 big bunch
Garlic – 3-4 cloves
Whole red chillis – 4
Ghee – 1/4 cup
Mustard oil – 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste
Was the dal and soak it for 30 mins.
Wash the spinas thoroughly and chop it finely
In a pressure cooker add the dal and spinach and 3 cups of water. (Remember is is a thick dal and not runny and spinach with release water too.)
Add salt to taste and close the lid.
Let it stay on high flame for two-three whistles, and reduce to sim for 10 mins afterwards.
Turn off the gas and let it sit until all pressure is released.
Open the cooker and mix the Dal up nicely.
In a small kadhai heat 1 tablespoon of mustard oil and add chopped garlic, when done, add one chili. Turn the flame off and transfer the Dal in it. Cover.
In a small ladel or kadai heat the ghee, when done add the remaining chilli. Let is turn slightly brown and turn the gas off.
Serve the dal with hot rotis and this special ghee.
Remember to break the crispy chilli into your dal for best flavour.
Okay, now I really have to go cook this. Do let me know how it turned out?