Somehow, my planning hadn't been very good, as we were about to leave town for five days and I had two bunches of hardy Red Russian Kale and 1 of beautiful rainbow Swiss Chard in our fridge. Knowing it wouldn't keep, I thought about making a pesto to freeze, but lately I have been Jonesin' for Indian food big-time. So, I decided that if I made a very thick saag without anything that doesn't freeze perfectly, like coconut milk, I could pop it in the freezer and enjoy when we returned home. Not only did it freeze beautifully, but it tasted wonderful before and after freezing with a texture to match! This amount of greens and onions sounds like a mountain, but it only makes 4 to 6 servings because I chop the greens so finely and it all cooks down significantly. I served this Indian Cashew Spinach over grilled tempeh, but it would be good over cooked Basmati rice or with just about anything, including a spoon!
Indian Cashew Swiss Chard [Vegan]
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter, divided
- 2 cups diced yellow onion
- Sea salt
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 3 bunches kale, Swiss chard, or spinach, stemmed and leaves torn in half, and processed in batches, using the pulse feature, until finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon garam marsala (
- 1 teaspoon Amchur or Amchoor (mango) powder or zest of 1/2 large lemon 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 3 cups water, divided
- 6 to 8 ounces lightly salted and roasted cashew pieces
- Accompaniments: grilled tempeh, cooked Basmati rice and/or roasted vegetables, potatoes, or chickpeas
- Optional Garnishes: unsweetened vegan yogurt, chopped tomatoes, chopped fresh cilantro
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high.
- Add cumin seeds and toast, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add canola oil and 1 tablespoon vegan butter to the skillet and bring to sizzling. (The combination of oil and vegan butter approximates ghee, an Indian cooking fat which is not vegan.)
- Add onions and a good pinch of sea salt and saute, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add garlic, and continue sauteing and stirring for about a minute.
- Add one-third to one-fourth of chopped greens, sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt, and saute until cooked down a little, but still bright green, about a minute or two.
- Add remaining tablespoon of butter, stir until melted, and continue adding greens and salt until all greens have been incorporated.
- Add ground cumin, garam marsala, Amchur powder or lemon zest, cardamom, and turmeric, stirring until combined.
- Stir in 1/3 cup water and cook, stirring frequently, until water is absorbed.
- Continue adding water until 1 2/3 to 2 cups have been added and absorbed.
- Meanwhile, process cashews and 1 cup water until a very smooth paste forms. Scrape into spinach in skillet, and cook until heated through.
- Check for salt and adjust if necessary. Thin with water as desired.
- Serve over tempeh or Basmati rice, or topped with some roasted vegetables, potatoes, or chick peas--whatever sounds tasty.