Tuesday, November 21, 2006
MuloShaak or Radish Greens
My weekend visits to the local Farmers Market, leaves me rejuvenated. When I was new to the US, I used to go to the ShopRites (US Grocery chain in our area) or the Indian stores for getting my veggies & fruits, but after I discovered the Farmers Market, it was a different story.
I try to go at least once a week to buy veggies, mostly the greens like Spinach, Bok Choy, Brussels Sprouts etc. and the Fruits. It is the greens that attract me here, for the rest I am ok with the other grocery places, but the greens here are so vibrant and earthly (not organic though, for organic WholeFoods Market is another great store but it's a bit far from my place and a bit pricey) that I always buy them here. If you are in the US and there's a farmers market in the neighbourhood do try it out if you haven’t already, they won't be glossy and well packaged but they will taste good and cost you less.
This reminds me of the weekend market we used to go to on Saturdays when we were in Koramangala, Bangalore. It was near Hosur Road, I think it was called Madiwala (??)and there would be all these people selling & buying and the place would be thriving with life. With my knowlede of kannada stopping at "Stop Mari" (a phrase I often used with the auto drivers), I would happily bargain and return home with a loaded bag. It was also a good place to get Fish.
So this Saturday as I was wandering around my Farmer's Market (ok not mine, someone else owns it) I came upon these beautiful bunches of radish, the radish were small pinkish red balls and they were hanging from the green leafy bunches. I brought them home for 1 dollar a pair. Now, normally I would have just cut the radish, tossed them in a salad or ate them raw. But now my Ma is here, yehhhhhhhhh and though I don't let her do the daily cooking to give her a little rest from all the years of cooking that she has done for us, you know how Moms are. She has just arrived and yet she cooks something during the day so that I don't have to cook when I get back from work but get to eat the goodies
So, my Maa sat down, chopped up the leaves real fine, kuchi-kuchi as we say in Bengali and made Mulo Shaak. A very nice, easy, healthy recipe. I never wanted to eat it growing up and only today I appreciate this dish. Maybe am getting old :)
Mulo Shaak or Radish Greens is a typical way a Bong eats his greens. Spinach or other greens are also coked in almost similar ways. This is usually eaten as a second course in the traditional Bengali Lunch.
What You Need
Bunches of radish with nice green leaves ~ 2 bunches. The variety I got is known as Red Globe and popular in US
Green Chillies ~ 2/3
Kalo Jeera or Kalonji ~ 1/2 tsp
Shukno Lanka or Dry Red Chillies ~ 2/3
How Ma Does It
Chop the radish greens (stems included) real fine, in small pieces
Also cut some of the radish about say 4 small ones into fine pieces
Heat Oil in Kadai/Frying Pan
Add Kalo Jeera(Kalonji) and Shukno Lanka(Dry Red Chillies) as phoron
Sauté the radish pieces
When they are little soft add the greens
Cover and sauté till they are soft.
Dry up all the water
Serve with Rice or Roti
Enjoy your holidays wining, dining and feasting. I am off on a 3-day break to Lancaster County , PA to visit our Amish neighbours. Shall resume cooking and blogging once I am back :)
Trivia: Radishes were first cultivated thousands of years ago in China, then in Egypt and Greece. Radishes were so highly regarded in Greece that gold replicas were made. Are you kidding ??