This winter has brought about its fair share of cold weather and I think it is having some influence on my cooking and the dishes I crave. 

As much as I might be dreaming of April showers and May flowers I am living in a winter wonderland. The other night the bone chilling winds got me wishing for the earthy, warm flavors of India – cumin and coriander were calling my name and I realized what I needed was a saag to soothe my weary bones.

Not having cooked saag myself I had to start researching recipes.  What ingredients had others added to their dishes?  How did they cook it?  With an idea in mind and a recipe in hand I hit the store, stocked up on ingredients, and started slow cooking my saag!

Slow Cooker Saag
Serves 6-8

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 medium onion, chopped
6-8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 3-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons tumeric
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce)  can light coconut milk
2 (16-ounce) bags frozen chopped spinach
1 bunch kale or collards, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 package extra firm tofu, patted dry and cut into ½ inch cubes
Fresh chopped cilantro,  for garnish (optional)
Brown rice

Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan.  Add the cumin seeds and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant.  Add the onion and cook for 5-7 minutes, until soft.

Place the onion mixture in slow cooker and layer the remaining ingredients on top, except for the chickpeas and tofu.  Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 5 hours.

After 5 hours you can either puree with an immersion blender or leave the saag as is for a chunkier finished dish.  Add the chickpeas and tofu and cook for another 30 minutes on low.

Serve over brown rice and sprinkle with cilantro.


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