It is not every day that kumro saag is available in the market. If the vegetable vendor is asked to get some, he will try and get it for his regular customer. He may take some days to get the saag for this is not commonly sold in the market.
There are some who hate green leafy vegetables. For them this saag specially may mean something very absurd. “Kumro/pumpkin, is ok, but the saag, really strange. God knows how it tastes after being cooked or is it simple waste of time,” that’s what Mrs N was telling her friend when she heard about this recipe. This reminds me of the film Chupke Chupke, where a Botanist is referred to as ‘Ghaas phus ka doctor’.
There’s absolutely nothing to mind when the saying goes, “Aap ruchi khana, par ruchi pehenna”.
This saag was plentily available in our house. The cowshed in the backyard of our house had a thatched roof. So Maa sowed the pumpkin seeds and let the creeper climb and spread all across the hay thatch. When the flowers came, some were fried into tasty Kumro phul bhaja. The pumpkins were let to grow to the size that could then be cut off and cooked. Pumpkins don’t rot and can be remain for days, so it can be cut into long strips as per requirement and used in the kitchen. Of course friends and relatives also got a share of it.
Maa used to make this saag, and in its simplicity, it tasted awesome. This has come down to me from Maa. I was lucky to get this saag from one of our friend’s house. A very simple recipe and the requirements are very little.
All you need is:
Kumro Saag/ Pumpkin greens: 5-6 one and half feet long stalk with leaves
Potatoes: 2 peeled and cubed into small size
Kumro/Pumpkin: 200 gms peeled and cubed
Tomatoes : 2 chopped finely
Dry red chillies: 2-3
Haldi: ¼ tsp.
Salt to taste
Cooking oil: 1tbsp
This is an important part. The leaves and the stem of the saag are a bit thorny. The leaves have to be detached from the stem and then rubbed lightly so that it becomes smooth. Next, chop the leaves. Same way the outer skin of the stem has to be peeled off carefully (like removing the outer skin of sojne danta/drumsticks) before cutting it into an inch and a half length. Then wash it 3-4 times and now it’s ready to cook.
Heat oil in a wok.
As it gets hot break the red chillies into half and throw them in.
Stir and then add the saag and the vegetables and stir for a couple of minutes.
Add salt and the haldi powder.
Mix it well with the veggies.
Cover and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
By now the greens, tomatoes and the pumpkin will start releasing water.
Lower the flame and let it cook.
Remove the lid and stir from time-to-time.
By the time the water dries up completely, it has been cooked to perfection.
You will surely relish your Kumro Saag-er chorchori (which has a sweet taste) with a small portion of hot boiled rice as this is the first helping of the meal.
Sometimes there is sense in simplicity and taste in plainness.
© gouriguha 2013