Kids Creations
Kids Creations

Puha Recipes

Puha Pakora (Johanna Knox, Wild Concoctions)

1 cup chana (chickpea) flour
1½ teaspoons curry powder or cumin
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
big pinch chilli powder (optional)
2 cups foraged greens, finely chopped and loosely packed down
2 tablespoons grated onion

Whisk dry ingredients together. Add greens and grated onion. Mix to a very thick batter. If necessary, add water to moisten slightly - but only slightly! The dryer this batter is, the better. You should only need a few drops of water, if any. Heat 1 cm oil in pan, on medium-high. Dollop in small spoonfuls of batter, or mold small patties in your hands and drop in. (Keep hands wet if doing it that way.)
Turn and fry until golden brown on both sides. Remove and place on paper-towel lined plate.
Serve with yoghurt and/or relish. Makes a meal for 2 or a snack for 4.

If using bitter greens ...
If you're using very bitter greens - like older dandelion leaves or wild mustard greens - boil them for 5-10 minutes and then leave to drain before chopping them and adding them to the batter. (You may even want to press some of the moisture out, so you don't risk ending up with an over-moist batter.)

Puha and Sesame Salad (from Wild Health)

1 large bunch of leafy greens such as puha or spinach
¼ cup ground sesame seeds
1-2 tablespoons good quality soy sauce

Put a pot about 1/2 full of water on the stove. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, wash and drain the greens. Cut into 2-3 cm lengths. Drop greens into the boiling water and blanch briefly - most greens will need less than a minute. Drain immediately. Leave for several minutes to allow excess water to drain, but do not squeeze dry. In a large bowl mix greens, ground sesame seeds and soy sauce. Check seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Puha and Kumara Soup (NZ’s favourite recipes)

2 large kumara
1 large onion
1 tablespoon butter
6 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
several handfuls of puha leaves
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
parsley, chopped, to garnish.

Melt the butter in a large pot on a low heat. Chop the onion coarsely and and add to the pot. Peel the kumara, chop into cubes and add to the pot. Add the pinch of nutmeg. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until the kumara begins to soften. Meanwhile, wash the puha in a couple of changes of water. Pick off the leaves and discard the stalks (they're stringy). Coarsely chop the leaves.

Add the stock or water to the pot. Bring it to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the kumara and onion are quite soft (at least 15 minutes). Put the mixture through a blender until smooth, and return it to the pot. Add the chopped puha. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir. Serve garnished with chopped parsley. Serves 4.

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