Pahadi Lai Ki Sabzi is the simple Kumaoni stir-fry of a local variety of red mustard greens. It is a popular Kumaoni recipe. This particular variety of mustard greens has a sharp, saline taste to it with the shades of red on the leaves. Lai Ki Sabzi has an uncomplicated demeanor. So easy to prepare and full of fresh flavors.
The color of red mustard leaves is not entirely red so I am afraid if we can categorize them as red mustard leaves. These leaves have a peculiar mustard oil like aroma to them.
In the local Kumaoni dialect, we call this variety of mustard greens Lai. It is usually available throughout the winter season. And we surely miss relishing it while the rest of the year.
We have this soft spot for green leafy vegetables especially the local ones. They provide a wholesome, flavorsome, quick side-dish.
There is a kind of unsaid comfort in relishing lai ki sabzi with pahadi gahat ki dal and bhaat. This winter our green love is at the pinnacle and we are surely making most of the local green leafy vegetables available in the market.
There is nothing fancy about the green recipes like lai ki sabzi or Palak Anda Curry, but I’m telling you, they are truly delicious. It’s fresh, it’s filling, it’s full of great flavor, and it’s made with all sorts of ingredients you can feel great about in the new year.
So if any of you happen to be looking for a tried-and-true recipe for authentic Pahadi Lai Ki Sabzi, this one might come handy. And you can rest assured that they’ll be happening in my kitchen again this week, and next week, and probably till the time they vanish from the market until next season.
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Pahadi Lai Ki Sabzi
- Heavy Bottom Kadhai
- 1 bunch of lai red mustard green
- 4 tbsp mustard oil
- 2 dry red chilies broken
- a pinch of asafoetida hing
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 tsp red chili powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- Remove the tough stem from the base of greens. Wash the leafs in water twice or thrice to make sure they are absolutely clean.
- Chop the greens into very fine threads, finer they are cut tastier is the dish.
- Heat oil in a thick bottom wok ( buy it here ) over high heat.
- Once the oil reaches smoking point, reduce the heat to low.
- Add the dry red chilies. Fry for 10 second or so.
- Add asafoetida and cook for few seconds.
- Now add the chopped greens, stir to mix. Add salt, turmeric and red chili powder.
- Mix nicely and cover the wok ( buy it here ) with a lid. Allow the vegetable to cook on low flame till the greens turn soft. It will take 10 -12 minutes. Stir the vegetable at regular intervals to avoid getting burnt.
- There should not remain any liquid of the greens in the wok. Do not cook the greens for too long.
- Serve Lai Ki Sabzi warm with arhar ki dal ( see recipe ) and rice.