Another traditional Maharashtrian dish. This is as homely as it gets. Satisfying and highly nutritious with lots of scope for variation. I usually try to get the fresh vegetables and greens. I dont like to use frozen or canned varieties as far as i can avoid it. Pattal in Marathi means liquidy. So its not a dry or a gravy, but a liquidy version (like a thick punabi dal) of fresh greens.
1 cup shepu a.k.a dill (separated, washed and chopped)
3-4 cups palak a.k.a spinach (i used fresh baby spinach- washed and chopped)
3 tbs besan a.k.a gram flour
4 small green chilies chopped
3-4 curry leaves (optional)
salt to taste
1-2 tsp jaggery (optional)
dry coconut pieces
3 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/3 tsp turmeric
a pinch of asafoetida
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
1. Mix the chopped dill (the main green stem should be removed) and spinach, add 3-4 cups water and boil it on a medium flame till they are completely boiled and cooked.
2. Drain the water, and keep it aside for later use.
3. Add the gram flour to the boiled spinach-dill and mix it finely till there are no lumps.
4. Add 2 cups of the left over boiled water to this mixture and let it cook.
5. Add salt, 2 of the diced green chilies, peanuts and coconut, kokum and curry leaves (some people dont like the taste of it, some do.... so its upto you) and let it cook on a medium flame till its cooked and the spices have seeped in (approximately 15-20 minutes).
6. Now heat 3 tsp of oil separately for tempering and add the mustard to it. When it crackles, add the turmeric, asafoetida, green chilies and garlic and pour it over the spinach dill mixture.
7. Add jaggery at this point if you like, boil for a couple of more minutes and serve hot with roti or rice. Usually pattal bhaaji is served with varan (plain boiled toor dal).
Variations- You can substitute the dill-spinach combination with only dill, only spinach or methi (fenugreek leaves). The recipe remains the same, but each of these greens lends a varied taste to the dish.
I tried this Shepu Bhaaji from Madhuli's version but made some changes as per the above recipe. I took down the recipe from my mom but misplaced it and so looked it up from My Foodcourt. Most of it is the same except for the addition of toor dal. There is no difference taste wise.