My first stop in Europe a few weeks ago was London. Let's face it, England isn't exactly known for it's fare. We did have amazing fish & chips with mushy peas on our first evening. It was a funky little dive suggested by our cab driver and was very good. Honestly, this is where my expectations for good eats started and stopped. I wasn't too worried. Paris was squarely on my radar.
What happened next was a little gift from God. I did know that London is known to have a bangin’ Indian scene, but I wasn't convinced that it really was good. I thought maybe it was just better than the other options. Boy, was I mistaken.
We were staying in Islington, but made our way to Restaurant Dishoom in nearby King's Cross. It was a Wednesday evening around 8 and we waited about 45 minutes. I thought that was a good sign. The bar was lovely and the cocktails creative. To make a long story short, Dishoom served the BEST Indian food that has ever crossed my lips. My mom and the kids loved it. The samosas were amazing. Malcolm had lamb. Franky, a potato curry. Mom some sort of cunning tagine. But what we LOVED best were the Indian-style greens.
I asked our waiter how the greens were dressed. He gave me a partial description and I've played with them a bit. Below is my interpretation. Served with a generous bowl of steamed Basmati rice, this makes a lovely vegetarian meal. A little spicy and a lot tangy. Perfect for a brisk spring evening.
कृपया भोजन का आनंद लीजिये! (Please enjoy your meal!)
Nod to Dishoom's Indian Greens
6 cups steamed Basmati rice
2 crowns fresh organic broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup water
8 ounce package organic baby spinach
1/2 pound fresh organic snow peas, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon lal mirch (Indian chili powder or substitute cayenne pepper)
2 Tablespoons Garam Masala
1/3 cup Ghee or clarified butter
juice of two limes
In a large skillet, steam the broccoli over medium heat with a 1/2 cup of water. After 4-5 minutes, add the snow peas and drizzle with half of the butter. Cook for another minute or two, reducing the heat to low.
Transfer veggies to large bowl and immediately add spinach. Toss spinach with hot veggies to wilt.
Sprinkle the Garam Masala, chili powder, remaining butter and lime juice and toss well coat.
Divide the steamed rice among four plates and top with generous spoonfuls of greens.
Elizabeth Morse cooks professionally, is an Advanced Master Gardener and lover of all things local.