Before I proceed with details about this thali, I would once again reiterate the fact that presentation of dishes is crucial to enticing your family members with their diverse food preferences, to savour your cooking. Even simple food will look magnificent and alluring if served in an attractive manner. This thali that I serve to my family now and then is enhanced with the health benefits accrued from wild leafy greens like Kona Simolu or Commelina benghalensis/tropical spiderwort, Bonmora leaf, Heart Leaf and long coriander. There was a time when it was very difficult for me to coax my kids into eating the leafy greens that are so beneficial to health. So, I came up with this thali that is further embellished with a lot of other side dishes, each again having their own health benefits and easily available as well.
The thali is complete with the following items:
a)Mixed dry fry of all wild leafy greens selected for this thali
c)Mixed vegetables stir fry
d)Black gram and jack fruit curry
g)Indian jujube sweet, tangy and spicy pickle
h)Mixed vegetable pickle
i)Rice (I have used Uhuwa saul or steam boiled rice)
j)Chilli ( I have used moni jolokia)
A point to be noted is that when we mix different wild leafy greens and cook, the dish gives out a very nice flavour and taste. These wild leafy greens have many medicinal properties and consuming them now and then will keep us healthy and fit.
Method of cooking: Adding mixed leafy greens to dal or making a stir fry of it will give a different gastronomical experience. Below is the recipe for the wild leafy greens that I have served in this thali.
Kona Simolu or Commelina benghalensis/tropical spiderwort—a handful
bonmora leaf—a handful
Heart Leaf—a handul
Long coriander—a handful
Onion– one small chopped
Ginger, garlic paste—as required
Oil—one tea spoon
Clean and wash the leafy greens. Put them under the sun for a little while if you have the space or dry indoors. After that, chop them finely. Place a kadhai on the stove. Pour one tea spoon oil and heat. Add the onion, ginger garlic paste, chilli and fry till the raw smell goes away. Add the chopped leafy greens and salt and cook till done. Serve it hot with rice.
Mixed vegetables or mixed leafy greens go very well with Uhuwa saul or steam boiled rice.
P.S:- cooking is always an experiment to cherish and you need not be fastidious about the rules of cooking. If you add more or less of any ingredient, or even if you miss a particular ingredient, you will definitely create a new taste– a taste that is uniquely curated by your heart, and with each attempt at cooking a new dish, you will only script your own journey of self-improvement and self-satisfaction. The quantity of the ingredients in any recipe including this mixed dry fry of wild leafy greens will vary depending on the number of people we cook for. Just listen to your heart.