It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe. Not that I haven’t been cooking. Just that when I do, it’s in the evening and the light is terrible here in cloudy/rainy Seattle. Anyone else ready for some sun? I know I am and not just so I can take pictures in the evening.
I know many of you are too busy to be able to cook much during the week. Or you are so tired that ordering in feels like an infinitely better plan than cooking and worse, cleaning up. I know the feeling.
Since I don’t like eating out too much, I end up cooking simple dinners most of the time. This recipe is a great example. It is also a tasty way of using up greens that may not last till the weekend. It’s kind of like the pesto of South Indian food.
The dish is called Thambli and is typically made with garlic, South Indian red chilies (byadige), cumin, fenugreek and yogurt. Thambli is normally one of the first sides served in a thali meal in Mangalorean cuisine. But the recipe is versatile and can be used with greens like spinach and swiss chard. You could probably also use mustard greens or kale though you would have to sauté it longer or braise before blending.
Thambli is always made with yogurt. I haven’t tried it without yogurt but I imagine you could blend with avocado or coconut milk to make it dairy free. Have you made it this way? I’d love to hear from you!
Swiss Chard Thambli – Serves 2
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 long dry red chilis (optional), stalks removed
- 1/2 – 1 bunch swiss chard, cut into 1 inch wide threads
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup yogurt
- Salt to taste
Heat the oil over medium heat in a pot or skillet large enough to accommodate the swiss chard. When the surface of the oil start shimmering, add the cumin, fenugreek, garlic and chilis. Let sizzle for 15 seconds while stirring occasionally to prevent the garlic from burning.
Saute the swiss chard till it softens. You don’t need to completely wilt it.
Allow to cool.
In a food processor or blender, blend the sautéed swiss chard with 1/2 cup yogurt and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Taste and add more yogurt or salt as necessary.
Serve over hot rice with a side of pickle or pappadum. And hopefully you can get your spouse to clean the kitchen