Chitra Agrawal with another fun take on a traditional South Indian stir fry.
By Chitra Agrawal
My mom’s palya recipe, which is a South Indian stir-fry dish, never gets old because I can apply it to so many different vegetables that are available around me.
This time, I used sweet potatoes and mizuna, Japanese greens that have a peppery flavor and remind me a bit of mustard greens used in Indian cooking.
- 2 tablespoons oil
- ¾ pound sweet potatoes, peeled, cubed
- 1 bunch of mizuna greens, leaves & an inch of stem chopped
- ¼ large onion, chopped
- pinch of asafetida (hing)
- ⅓ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon urad dal
- ½ teaspoon chana dal
- 3 fresh curry leaves
- 1 dried red chili, broken in half
- few squeezes of lemon
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
- 2 tablespoons crumbled feta
- Under medium heat, warm oil in a pan. Add pinch of asafetida and mustard seeds and shake up the pan. Put in the grad dal and chana dal.
- Fry until the mustard seeds start popping and the other dals start to brown up. Turn down the heat and throw in the dried red chili and curry leaves (the oil will spurt so be careful).
- Add in the onions at this time and stir well. Turn the heat back to medium. Next add in the turmeric and give a good stir. Cook the onions until translucent.
- Throw in the sweet potatoes and cook until softened, but so they don't lose their shape. If they start to stick I sometimes add a little bit of water and lower the heat a little. They will cook in about 15 minutes. Once they are cooked, stir in the greens and cook until wilted.
- Turn off the heat and add in lemon and cilantro. Mix it up and top with crumbled feta.
- Serve with roti, in a tortilla or on the side of scrambled eggs.
Chitra writes the food blog, The ABCD's of Cooking, which chronicles her adventures cooking American Born Confused Desi recipes. When she is not recipe blogging, Chitra can be found hosting her online cooking show and a supper club featuring Indian-inspired, vegetarian cuisine. She also teaches cooking classes and sells Indian street foods (sometimes yummy Indian tacos!) at events and artisanal markets in Brooklyn. Her cooking has appeared in the New York Times Dining Journal and she is a contributor to The Huffington Post, Gojee, The Daily Meal and Brooklyn Based.