নটে শাক (notey shaak; green amaranth) is usually eaten in Bengal during the warmer months. The red variant of this plant is known as লাল নটে (laal notey) or simply লাল শাক (laal shaak), not to be confused with the similarly red-leafed dhula shaak (ঢুলা শাক). There are two minor variations to the notey shaak recipe made in our family. The first one is niramish (no onion or garlic) with fried bori and peanuts. The second one uses a tiny bit of garlic to flavour the oil and skips the garnishes. Both very simple to make, the only part that takes a bit of time is cleaning and picking through the leaves.
- 350 g notey shaak (225 g after cleaning)
- 15 g mustard oil
- 5 pcs dal'er bori (sun-dried lentil dumplings)
- 15 g peanuts
- 2 pcs dried red chillies
- 6 g salt
- 1 pinch turmeric
- 1 pc green chilli
- 12 g sugar
- 1 pinch atta
- Separate the leaves from the stem. Discard the ones with holes, which may be damaged by worms.
- Wash in plenty of water. Rinse multiple times to remove the soil and dirt. Strain the leaves that float to the top. Discard any remaining dirt that settles at the bottom of the water.
- Chop the leaves into 1-cm wide sections.
- Heat mustard oil in a kadai. Wait for it to turn pale yellow.
- Add dal'er bori. Fry until golden. Set aside.
- Add peanuts. Fry until golden. Set aside.
- [You can also use a clove of garlic instead of bori and peanuts. In that case, peel the clove and smash lightly using a knife, and add it to the oil while tempering.]
- Temper oil with dried red chillies and nigella seeds. If you like biting into a chilli with your shaak, fry an extra dried chilli and set it aside.
- Add the chopped notey shaak.
- Sprinkle salt and turmeric, mix, and cover the kadai and let it cook.
- Add a slit green chilli.
- Keep stirring every so often, covered, until the shaak reduces in volume. This will take around 15 minutes.
- Add sugar and continue cooking.
- Sprinkle a pinch of atta to prevent water from separating. This will also allow the juices to coat the shaak.
- Break fried bori into shards. Add fried peanuts and bori to the pan. Give everything a good mix.