Wild Garlic Leaves and Potato Bhaji/Sabji
Jungli Lahsun Patte Aur Alu Ki Sabji
On a recent visit (2007) to Switzerland to see my nephew, I found that they had a large amount of wild garlic growing in their rose beds and didn't know what to do with it. So I thinned it out by pulling out many clumps and made it into a bhaji. It came out very tasty, give it a try. If you dont have wild garlic, use garlic chives or green garlic leaves. Serve with plain parathas or chapatties and a dal of choice.
Wild garlic grows across the UK from late winter until the end of spring. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked and they taste milder than regular garlic. Lily of the Valley leaves look similar, but are poisonous. Before you start picking, check to make sure that the leaves you are picking smell of garlic.
500 gram. potatoes (tiny new potatoes, when available, are nicer)
1 large bunch of wild garlic leaves.
1 tbsp. mustard or other cooking oil.
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds.
1 dry red chilli, broken up
A pinch of asafoetida powder.
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder.
1/4 tsp. chilli powder (adjust to taste).
Salt to taste.
Peel & cut the potatoes into small pieces and wash well. If tiny new potatoes are used they need not be peeled but only cut into half.
Clean wild garlic leaves, picking out any damaged/dry leaves. Very tender stems can be left in. Also clean the bulbs, removing any tough outer layers of skin.
Wash well and chop roughly. Chopping releases the flavour.
Heat oil in a wok or karahi.
Add cumin seeds (jeera) and a pinch of asafoetida (hing) powder & wait until seeds splutter. Add broken red chilli and stir for 5 seconds.
Add potatoes, spices and salt and stir fry for a couple of minutes.
Turn heat down to minimum and cook cover on low heat, stirring from time to time, until the potatoes are nearly cooked. You may need to sprinkle a little water if potatoes begin to catch, specially if you are not cooking on low heat.
Add garlic leaves, stir and cook covered for a few more minutes. If the leaves are fresh and you cook on low/medium heat, no additional water will be required.
Once the potatoes are cooked, adjust salt and chillies, raise heat and stir-fry until all the water is absorbed and vegetable looks shiny. Turn heat off.
Bulbs should be pulled out only if you have surplus. Otherwise, you wonï¿½t have much of the leaves left for next time.
Wild garlic leaves can also be added to salads or made into pakoras. Wash them well and tear them into small pieces.
You can substitute wild garlic leaves with garlic chives or garlic greens.