I'm convinced that Mrslarkin's (ought to be trademarked) term 'ramp tramp' is severely contagious. My 2 yr old just got admitted into this society!
Ramps have always fascinated me ever since I saw them being sauteed on Emeril Lagasses show on Food Network. This was a vegetable I'd never heard of in my native India, simply because they do not grow there. Also, since its such a seasonal produce, gourmet to boot and not available in the local grocery, makes it all the more inaccessible, leave alone trying to make an Indian dish out of it.
Ramps seem to be tailor made for Indian cuisine. I'd probably spend the rest of the ramp season incorporating it into every recipe that came to mind if they weren't so scarce & expensive.
I've adapted Ramps into a classic 'lunch box' curry that many kids in India carry to school. Dry, (you don't want food dripping onto the books) yet moist enough to complement a buttery paratha. Or simply as a side to Plain Basmati Rice & Yellow Dal.
Given that Ramp is a very seasonal produce, I substitute 3 cloves & garlic and a bunch of scallions to enjoy this dish the rest of the year! —Panfusine
1 1/2 cups
baby fingerling potatoes
stalks of whole Ramp, (OR)
cloves garlic, Peeled
salt for adding to water used for boiling the potato
to obtain the toasted cumin & coriander powder, simply toast 1 teaspoon of each spice in a small skillet. Powder and use the required amount. Toss the dried fenugreek leaves onto the same skillet after its been removed from the heat. the warmth is enough to perfectly toast the delicate leaves. Crush the leaves with the fingertips prior to adding to the dish.
In a pinch bowl combine the dried mango powder, toasted cumin & coriander seed powders, sugar and the crushed fenugreek leaves. Set aside till needed.
Wash the baby fingerling potatoes & boil them in water to which salt & turmeric have been added. This yields a bright yellow color to the potato without coloring the ramps. Cook till fork tender. Drain off the water, peel & set aside. (you may cut them up so that they are of uniform size)
Cut and discard the roots of the ramp. Chop the entire plant as you would chop a scallion. Set aside.
Heat oil in a skillet. when it begins to smoke, add the mustard seeds. When they sputter, lower the heat &add the ginger & green chili. Stir and add salt.
Add the ramps & saute till the greens are limp and the white parts begin to soften. At this point, add the potatoes & stir to combine well. Cover and allow for the flavors to blend.
Add the spice blend & toss to coat evenly. (you may drizzle some extra oil at this point to ensure that the spice sticks to the potatoes). Retain on heat for about 2 minutes before transferring to a serving dish.
Squeeze a wedge of lime & garnish with finely chopped cilantro prior to serving.
Serve with Indian Roti/ Naan or with plain rice & Dal