What’s in a name? Well, a name can make you confuse some time I guess…one thing and many names. My recent post about Amaranth on Instagram made me a bit indecisive on what should I call our own Lal Shak in English? Amaranth or Red Spinach? Then this article helped me to clear my confusion, thank you, my dear readers/friends, for telling me facts about it and raising questions at the right time, I appreciate your help. 🙂
Like every Bengali household Lal Shak bhaja was a staple food in our Kolkata home also. I’ve grown up eating this, my Mom used to cook it in several ways. This stir fry with coconut is my favourite among those other variations. A typical Bengali meal starts with a stir fried/boiled bitter veggie like bitter gourd or fried neem leaves, and then comes a stir fry of any seasonal leafy veggie with a dollop of Kasundi, Lal Shak Bhaja is the most popular one among these leafy side dishes. The recipe is a very basic one, easy to cook with simple ingredients, yet tastes amazing every time with steamed rice. Try it, if you’ve never had Lal Shak this way.
Narkel die Lal Shak Bhaja/Stir fried Red Spinach with Coconut
- Lal Shak/Red Spinach- 400g
- Whole dry red chilli- 1
- Turmeric powder
- Green chillies- 2 (broken into pieces)
- Fresh grated coconut- ¼ cup
- Mustard oil- 2 tbsp
Chop lal shak roughly; cut off the root parts from the end of the stem. Other than roots I don’t like to add the thick stems of lal shak, so I discard them. But, I’ve seen many people cooking with them, so, that depend on your personal preference to use them into your cooking or not. I chop the leafy part of Lal Shak and wash them under running water by using a colander.
Heat mustard oil in a deep frying pan/kadai. Temper with dry red chilli, next to add chopped lal shak, green chilli, turmeric powder and salt. Mix, cover and cook on medium heat until the natural juice which releases during the cooking time from lal shak evaporates completely. Keep stirring in between. Now add grated coconut, mix and fry for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Serve hot with steamed Rice. Enjoy!