Green leafy vegetables & lentils/ dals are highly used in the kitchens of Bangalore & Mysuru region. Varieties of herbs & green leaves are consumed on daily basis when compared to Dakshina Kannada/ Coastal region where only few leafy vegetables are used majorly. Few herbs are used in tambulis, other than very common Basale (malabar spinach), harive... Generally, wild greens are less consumed there unlike this part (Mysore- Bangalore) of Karnataka. People say in the rural area that there are Noorondu soppu which are to be included in cooking. (101 greens are edible & good).
Komme soppu is one among many such as Anne soppu, Ganike/ Kaasin soppu (Garden night shade), Honegonne (Sessile joyweed), Goni soppu (purslane) Hulichukki soppu etc… Due to urbanization, many such herbs are vanishing and recognizing them is becoming a challenge. Still street vegetables/ greens vendors sell some of such leafy vegetables. After we started living in a village of Bangalore I was introduced to many such nature’s gifts which are great sources of nutrients. I do google search for the scientific name and browse a bit about the benefits & side effects. I generally ask the villager for the recipe as well and many of them turn so good. Today I am sharing a simple soppu sambhar which goes well with Ragi mudde (Finger millet ball), rice - a dollop of ghee or even with Chapathi. Again, the recipe is from a good friend from this village, who initially shared this kind of greens to me from the nearby farms. Now I make it a point to use them whenever there is season and they come well after the first rain at the end of summer.
Komme soppu/ Shwetha Punarnava is similar to Punarnava which grow like weed along with other garden plants. Komme is confused with Punarnava normally. I too recognized it otherwise initially, then facebook foodie group helped me in knowing it better. These flowering plants come generally in two varieties - red & white. Common names include horse purslane, giant pigweed...
Now let us see how to make this soppu sambhar. If you don’t have enough of these greens, then you can mix it with other leafy vegetables like Palak, nelabasale, honegonne (sessile joyweed), anne soppu, goni soppu (purslane) or other. I do mix varieties many times whenever there is less of single variety leaves. Last week, I made it with nelabasale and it was perfect combination for Ragi mudde. Today made only with komme soppu as I received plenty of it from nearby farm.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves – 2-3
Komme soppu or mixed greens (anne, ganike, honegone…)- 3-4 cups (tightly packed).
Tur dal/ split pigeon peas – ½ cup
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Dry red chillies – 1-2, adjust to taste
Onions – 1
Garlic – 5-6 cloves
Tomato – 1
Tamarind – small piece
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Salt – to taste (1 tsp)
Cooking oil – 2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1tsp
- Collect the greens, cut root part with soil and discard. Watch carefully in order to remove any bug if found and wash clean with running water initially. Washing with salt water is also preferred. Drain water completely.
- Now wash tur dal with water and take in a pressure cooker. Add cleaned leaves/ greens to the same.
- Peel onion, wash and chop roughly. Add to the cooker.
- Peel off garlic and add it to the cooker too.
- Add roughly chopped tomato to the above. Add 1 tsp cumin, turmeric powder and red chillies to it.
- Pour in water as required and few drops of oil.
- Cook for 3-4 whistles. Allow pressure to settle down.
- Once, pressure releases and cools a bit, take all the cooked ingredients in large jar of mixer grinder. Add tamarind to it. Churn just once or twice. Don’t overdo it.
- Transfer to the vessel, add water if required (to bring to consistency needed). Add salt and boil well.
- Prepare a seasoning of oil and mustard seeds. Add it to the boiled sambhar on spluttering.
- Serve hot sambhar with rice/ mudde/ chapathi.
- Small piece of ginger can also be added while cooking leaves. I did not add.
- Spice level can be adjusted.
- Leaves such as ganike (solanaceae), anne, komme, Nela basale (Talinum fruticosum) can be used in making this dish.
- Note that, it is important to identify the plant before using in food!