Thursday, July 21, 2011

Aunt Amina's Kurdish Purslane Recipes

This recipe is dedicated to my dear aunt Amina in Iraq. Whenever I see purslane I think of her.. and the time she discovered some growing in the garden of our newly rented home in northern Iraq, she instructed us kids to pick them and so we did.

I was about 10 years old at the time and remember following her to the kitchen to see what she was going to do with it. She made two recipes and both were so perfect and delicious in their own way.

Fast forward to this week, I was on an outing with my sisters taking a walk when I spotted a huge patch of purslane growing between some dragon snaps, it was the best and most healthy bushes I've ever seen!! My sisters thought I had gone mad but good thing I had a plastic bag with me because I began picking it like a maniac.

The area looked safe, meaning it does not seem to be a place where dogs or raccoons would hang out, it's always best to be cautious when picking plants that are for eating.
When I returned home I washed it all very well a few times and soaked it in a bit of vinegar (This is a good trick that we used a lot in many countries abroad for washing vegetables and such )

These recipes are super easy, both were sautéed in a bit of garlic butter and to the first I added some eggs and scrambled it in.

The second recipe took a little longer, it began with the garlic butter and sauteeing and caramelizing a can of chopped tomatoes until tender and then adding the purslane in at the end and cooking for a few minutes until the stalks softened a bit.

Serve with bread and it's absolutely delicious!

Thank you Aunty Amina for teaching us about this lovely ingredient! 


Anonymous said...

Where is the recipe?

Amatullah said...

This is a rough recipe on how to use the greens. It does not need precise measurements, just an inspiration :)

We never use measurements while cooking, we reserve the measuring for baking and aunty Amina most certainly didn't use a recipe as far as I remember.

If you need any more help let me know.

robwala said...

I picked a handful of swiss chard and a handful of purslane from my garden tonight, steamed the chard for a few minutes then threw in the purslane for a couple more. After draining, I added a bit of butter, fresh-ground salt and pepper for a super-simple healthy summertime meal - delicious!
I'm so glad I discovered that this "weed" (purslane) is really so much more!

Amatullah said...

Robwala, that sounds fantastic!
I'm just seeing some poke up in my garden up here in Canada so hopefully soon I'll have enough to harvest.

Pamela7762 said...

I have been picking purslane from my garden and throwing it away, thinking it to be an obnoxious weed! Then a friend recently told me it is edible and very nutritious. Today, I saw it being sold at my local farmer's market for $6.99/lb! So I went to my community garden and picked a bunch... I am still trying to wrap my head around eating it, but I loved your recipes and I'm so happy you shared!

Korrina said...

I found out that purslane- a common garden weed where I live- is edible about two years ago, but my first attemts at cooking with it didn't turn out very well... Since then, I have found that I like it alot as a (raw) salad green. I found a champagne-based vinaigrette that is simply delicious on it (look in the produce dept. of your local grocery for the refridgerated brands)

Anonymous said...

I understand about not needing exact measurments just to make a recipe. However, after my first failed attempts to cook with purslane I find myself wishing that you had mentioned how to prepare the purslane for cooking (how much of the stem do I keep or discard? any suggestions to make prep go faster or easier?) as well as a clearer idea of how you made the two dishes... (especially the tomato dish) I really appreciate that you mentioned cooking with purslane, but perhaps you could help novices like myself by adding just a little more information...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, I just found this blog after a search for purslane recipes. (We just got some from in our CSA from a local farm.) We had it raw in salad. Heavenly with some lemon thyme and a garlic-vinegar dressing.

Anyway, we used the leaves and only the most tender-looking stalks (this is what i found online). After plucking for a very long time, I also found that it was easy to get the leaves by dragging my loosely closed fist along the stem, going WITH the grain of the leaves (e.g., going from root toward the tip).


Anonymous said...

Also received purslane in a CSA. My first time to prepare it, and so Googling for recipes found your blog post. I used your 'inspiration' with tomatoes. It turned out well and went great with the tamales we had as an entree.

Anonymous said...

I chop up stems - saute them in coconut oil for several minutes - then add the chopped 'leaves' of the purslane. Add some sea salt and tamari. or .... you can saute with some onion and garlic adding whole cherry tomatoes. Yum!