Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Palang Saag er Chop

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No, it does not mean Chopped Spinach, silly, to find out, go through my rant...

(Note: A part of this post shared at Desi Momz Club)

The Parents left over the weekend after a long stay, leaving both me and S miserable. Don't know about D though. It's amazing how guys never crib about their in-laws and yet lead a peaceful life, thus leaving no opportunity for serials like "Sasur bhi Kabhi Damad Tha"

More than me missing my parents I was worried about S who was extremely attached to them, more with her dadai, my Dad. So whole of last week I kept explaining to her that Dadai & Didun are going back to Kolkata, because they have a house there which is also missing them. She took it nicely after my Mom promised to come back after taking care of the house. At the airport I told little S it's ok to be sad, even I am sad and she said she was "6" sad. Rating sadness on a scale at age 3 is pretty amazing I thought when I cannot even rate my pain in 1 – 10!!!

After coming back from school yesterday, as I slowly unlocked the door and let ourselves in, S asked me in a hushed voice "Didun ki opore ache ?" ("Is Didun upstairs?" ) and my heart went out to her

On the other hand I am amazed by the tenacity that grandparents seem to garner. The way my Ma would keep little S busy by doing little projects with her, teaching her Bengali Rhymes and Bengali Letters is amazing. I don't think I will ever make a good grandma. I can never do for my grandchild what S's grandparents do for her. When I think of retirement I hardly envision myself sitting and playing with a 2 year old in my daughter's home, no I think of lazing in some private island with some good books in tow!!!

But both my parents and D's parents love spending time with S, maybe because she is their only grandchild till now. They agree though that being close would have helped, then they wouldn't have to stay here for a long stretch and abandon all other aspects of life they have in India. But even then they are ready to pack their bags and come to spend time with her

On a funny note, yesterday during afternoon tea time I was telling D, that tea time was more fun when my Ma was here because it was she who would make it when I would get back from work and we would sit around the table and chat over tea. Hearing this little S went away and came back with one of her cute play tea cups and offered me some wonderfully brewed make believe tea.

Before leaving my Ma who by the way knows about most of you and also the events, helped me make Palang Saag er Chop for JFI-WBB Greens hosted by the creator herself, lovely Indira of Mahanadi. Since this time Nandita's WBB is hosted together this is a good dish both with greens and for a leisurely Sunday breakfast.It is like a cutlet made with Spinach and Potato which we call chop in Bengali. It is different from the Alur Chop as it is not dipped in a batter and fried. Friday being a day we eat strictly vegetarian food this chop did not have onion or garlic. Yet it was absolutely yummy.


Palang Saag er Chop/Spinach Cutlets

What You Need

Makes about 8-9 Chops

Baby Spinach ~ 1 Bag about 6oz/170gm. There was no need to chop these as they came in a bag and they were baby leaves. If you buy a bunch of spinach, wash and chop them

Potatoes ~ 1 medium sized Idaho Potatoes. They are usually on the large size. It amounted to 1 cup of mashed potatoes

Peanuts ~ 1/3 cup. Roast them in little hot oil and crush them in halves.

Besan ~ little less than ½ cup. Almost 3/8 cup

Bhaja Masala or Dry Roasted Masala ~ 1 tsp heaped
My mother makes this masala and stores it. To make this Dry Roast 1tbsp each of Jeera (Cumin Seeds), Dhania (Corriander seeds), Saunf (Fennel Seeds), 6/7 Laung (cloves) , 6/7 Elaichi (Cardamom), 6/7 TejPata(Bay leaves), an inch & half of cinnamon stick and peppercorns according to desired hotness.Then just dry grind it to a powder.
You can also use your own Garam Masala Powder or any suitable spice mix instead

Amchur ~ 1tsp heaped
Chilli Powder ~ ½ tsp
Salt ~ to taste

Rice Flour ~ to roll the patties in. 2 tbsp should be fine

Oil ~ For shallow frying

How I Did It

Boil the Potato and mash it up smoothly. We need about 1 cup of mashed potatoes
Steam or cook the spinach in the pressure cooker. Do not add water to the spinach as it releases water. Drain any excess water from the cooked spinach and mash it up smoothly
Roast the peanuts in a little hot oil. Get rid of their skins and crush them in halves. Roasting makes the skin removal a breeze
Mix together the mashed potatoes, the cooked & drained spinach and the besan to a smooth dough like texture. The besan is used to hold or tighten the mix so if you think you need a little more of it, fine.
Add the peanuts, the Salt, Amchur Powder, Chilli Powder and the Bhaja Masala. Mix well. In absence of the Bhaja Masala you can add freshly made Garam Masala.
Shape into Patties and refrigerate for half an hour

Sprinkle some Rice Flour and shallow fry in hot oil till both sides are browned
It is absolutely necessary that you have them with a tangy Tamarind Chutney or my all time favorite Maggi Hot & Sweet Ketchup. Wash it down with some hot Ginger Chai

Note: Sailaja at Sailus Food has a yummy Palak Kebab recipe. I am sure they taste better with all the ginger and onions that go in. I am going to try them next

Trivia: Popeye the Sailor has a strong affinity for spinach, becoming much stronger after consuming it. This is partially due to the iron content being mistakenly reported ten times the actual value, a value that was unchecked during the 1930's (Wiki)


  1. Feel for little 'S' and big 'S'.
    'Palang Saag er Chop' is a great snack. There the potatoes again, how can I live life not eating them. Wonder how they would turn out if we bake them instead.

  2. Sandeepa, I was quite amazed while reading that ur cutie rated her sadness on 1-10 scale!! These kids are wayyyyyy smarter than us ,isn't it ? Can imagine, how ur family must be missing ur folks....:(
    Most of the time your recipes are new to me....and your rants are always touching :)


  3. '6 sad?' That's a first - poor thing, hope they come back soon and make her happy. And you, too, S.
    Ate a veggie hariyali kabab yesterday, what a coincidence!

  4. hey, that's funny that you also call it "chop".. i knew it didn't mean "chopped" spinach, because in s'pore, we also tend to label breaded stuff as "chops", (eg chicken chop, vegetable chop) I wonder why now that you mention it... a Brit colony thing? ;-)

  5. What a great snack this "chop" is, it contains all of my favorite ingredients.
    Oh, and here's hoping that little S is feeling
    "10-happy" right now!

  6. '6 sad'...I son measures his on a scale of do really get used to all that attention, don't they...and that too from grandparents...both the sides must be missing the other...

    ...those chops look yummylicious...

  7. hugs to senior S and junior S:)
    choo chweet of junior S. amazing how they can rate happiness and sadness. it did make me think what exactly is happiness and sad thing for us. i never thought we can scale them and say i am 2/10 sad today comapred to 6/10's yesterdays. so i am more happier than yesterday. yup...little S did made me think and feel much better:)
    very sweet of her to make u cup of tea;) kids are adorable...
    lovely post as usual sandeepa:) and lovely recipe too...

  8. sandeepa, hugs to you and little s. rating sadness at this age is amazing.
    love your hara-bhara cutlet. i love how you come up with such beautiful recipes. yours is perfect entry for greens

  9. Dear Sandu, it was so cute to read your write up about the grandparents and kids attachment. My Son fell sick and got high fever when we left my parents at the hybd airport. after landing here, for so many day he used to start crying all of a sudden. that time he was just 5 months. but still he was more attached to my mom and dad. I dont know if I am a good mom, its far beyond to think if I will be a good Grandparent.

    Btw, your palang saag er chop looks so yummy. will make it for chai for sure.

  10. Hey Sandeepa,
    Now this is really temting.Nice recipe indeed.wanna try thid.Good that its not deepfried.Thanks for sharing the recipe.good snack.thanks for sharing.Loved the read up.Missing my parents too..

  11. Those tikkis looks so delicious indeed with shallow fry makes it more healthier, glad to hear S is doing better now.

  12. Sounds delicious.
    We too miss our parents badly.
    BTw,I have never seen people complaining about their bad grand parents. I think it comes naturally to people to be good grand parents than parents.:-)

  13. Ha , ha! Loved the "sasur bhi kabhi damad tha" bit! :) Yeah, it's amazing just how laid back most guys are with the in-laws.

    The spinach/aloo cutlet looks yum! The peanuts must add a nice crunch to it. Good one, San!

  14. hey Sandeepa,
    Very nice..........
    Wounderful picture with great snack.

  15. Enjoyed the write up about your parents' visit. After reading it, I too wished for you all that they were not living that far away... and poor S, hopefully soon she'll see them again.

    I am always on the lookout for new things to do with spinach and I'll defintely try your recipe.

    P.S. I posted the info about the cream soda on my blog for you.

  16. Ooooooooooooh, the poor baby S, :(
    Hope she is all better now and she is "10 Happy" by now!

    I love the look of those cutlets, and peanuts in cutlets, what a great idea for that crunch.. yumm...

  17. Ohh I feel for your baby..she is so sweet...Hope she feel 10happy soooooon..

    The tea time snack looks sinfully delicious and healthy..a Great recipe from your mom ..thanxs to her

  18. Hi Sandeepa,

    Once more, your writings touched my heart. I am struggling to hold my tears. In fact my parents have just left for Kolkata after a 6 week stay with us. And, frankly speaking I am yet to recover. With DB posted in a different city, we mom and son are living one day at a time, and working hard to put life back on 'our' track. However, knowing we are going to Kolkata in June for a couple of weeks, is the silver lining. So, griting our teeth we promise to ourselves, tomorrow would be better.

  19. Your little daughter is really loving and clever! I love 'big' family - living with parent/in-laws under one roof consider 'big' to me. But my husband likes small family *sigh*
    Great tip of dipping palang saag into rice flour... and hot & sweet ketchup!

  20. Hi Everyone

    Thanks for your sweet comments. Makes me feel much better:) I am sure if little S could blog she would soon be "10 Happy" :)

    Thanks again

  21. Sandeepa - a big hug to small S and Big S. Tomar meye khoobi cute :) palang saar er Chop - healthy and perfect for grazing. Great entry!

  22. Lovely spnach Cutlets Sandeepa.Once again nice writeup and I was touched when little S came with her tea cup set..

  23. That's a beautiful write-up and recipe, Sandeepa.
    I wonder what would happen if they start a serial "Sasur bhi kabhi damad tha":))..I can feel both the S's pain now that ur mom has gone back..I feel 10 sad to miss my parents..And Sandeepa, if u can write such wonderful posts, u can sure become a wonderful grand-ma..You can tell stories to ur grand kids..
    M def. going to try these snack..Totally yummy..

  24. Sandeepssss
    Didun ki oporo ache?

    :-( :-(

    4/10 after reading your post.

  25. Great tikkis...healthy too...why is it called a chop...or did I miss something...age does funny things to the brain...~grin~...thanks for sharing

  26. awww...hope you both are adjusting well now. its so hard to detach ourselves and get into the routine without them, isn't it?
    The snack looks great, Sandeepa...perfect for snack lover like me!

  27. Hey Sandeepa,

    Very touching post.....lots of love for the lil' S and hugs to you, dear. and those chops look amazingly yummy. lagta hai i've to fry some soon :).

  28. Your post made me tingle. My mom visited for the first time in six years last year and I hadn't seen her for two whole years. I started crying at the airport when it was time to say goodbye. I wish I could be that emotionally mature and rate my feelings and then control them.

  29. Ooh,Palak chops,eh!When can I come to your place, Sandeepa?I am dying for some fast and healthy food!looks great,I tell you.

    When parents leave,I always feel that they take a part of you with them..I miss my parents soo much now..I do hope your dear MIL can come and stay and give your little one some good and much needed company.In this day and age,having grandparents' wisdom to sail through the world is an absolute luxury!VEry amusing how the little one rated her sadness on a scale:)

  30. Yummy Snack. I can imagine how hard it was for the lil one and u.

  31. hey..ur daughter is already quantifying her emotions....she is so gonna ace math at school :)

    this sounds good...i bought methi leaves some weeks back and it took FOREVER to get the tiny leaves off the stems and when i cooked it the dish just SHRANK...sigh...but i think i will *suggest* this recipe to my mother next time i am home and getting pampered

  32. so onion and garlic are not considered 'vegetarian'?

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  34. Hi sandeepa
    good one .with peanuts anmd all..mmyummy!!

  35. Hi Sandeepa,
    With crunchy bits of peanuts this cutlet looks great. Nice writeup. Take care

  36. How come I missed this post!!!!! It didn't show up on my google reader!! :(

    The chop sounds great!! Never tried the combo of spinach and potato..... the pic looks great. :)

  37. hay.....It looks nice...ur blog is realy good. Great recipe for JFI.

  38. great looking snack.
    i hope lil S is doing okay.and your writing style is wonderful:)

  39. What a sweet post! It made me wish my grandmother was still here. And I'm very lucky because I have been trying to find more spinach recipes and this looks perfect! Thank you!

  40. What a lovely and touching story Sandeepa -- you make me long for when my kids were so young. You will make a wonderful nana, never fear. We can't imagine it will be so when we are in the midst of our own kids and long for a rest some days... but when the time comes, you will be the dearest Didun (and I hope I got that right) :)

  41. The chops look good. The bhaja masala is new learning. Thanks. Popeye has done lot of social service by helping kids love spinach my nephew eats it only becoz popeye does.

  42. Hi Sandeepa! I recently wrote a post on Kababs. While doing that, I was wondering if there is anything in Bong cooking that would qualify as one, but I couldn't think of anything (unless fried fish qualified!). But the Chop would be a type of 'kabab', wouldn't it?

  43. a traditional Bengali cuisine a truly niramish ranna(as we say in Bong) or vegetarian cooking does NOT have onion or garlic. I think because onions, garlic have the Tamasik Guna while vegetarian food is supposed to Be Satwik

    Santanu...Kebabs are supposed to be grilled or broiled. But Bangali Chops are deep fried, even if they are baked I am not sure they can be in the kebab category. BTW your kebab pic were drool worthy

  44. bDear Sandeepa, Good presentation and absolutely lip smacking dish! The choice of potato and spinach has always been a success! The recipe is thorough and the suggestion that it be refrigerated before shallow frying is an excellent one. It helps remove the moisture thus reducing the oil consumption. Good going! Awaiting more of these recipes.


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