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If X=Xiao Baicai, Recipe = ? July 19, 2007

Posted by live2cook in Sauces and Gravies.

For this week’s Alphabet X, Nupur said,

In mathematics, the letter X represents an unknown value. X is the letter of mystery, so here is the challenge for X: Choose any fruit or vegetable that is unknown to you…either you have never tasted it, or never cooked with it. Then, use it in any dish of your choice that uses Indian flavors. Here is your chance to scour your grocery store or farmer’s market, or go find some exotic ethnic store in your town, and try something fresh and new, do some Xploration! It should be Xciting :)”

So, the formula to be proved before us is Dinner = Cuisine(Recipe (X)), where Cuisine = Indian Cuisine.

If we substitute the value for X, we will get the solution. Quite a challenge. Huh!

After some research, I found some values for X , here and here. But, I am not able to find any of them in grocery stores. As always, Asian terms come handy. I substituted the value for X with Xiao Baicai. Xiao Baicai in Mandarin language means “Small White Vegetable” and it is known in different terms like Bok Choy, Pak Chay, Chinese chard, Chinese mustard, celery mustard and spoon cabbage. It is easily available in Asian groceries and looks like this:

Bok Choy

To prove the formula, I came up with two recipes Pak Chay Paneer and Pak Chay Palya.

Recipe 1: Pak Chay Paneer


2 cups chopped Pak Chay (Bok Choy)
1 cup chopped Onion
1 cup chopped Tomato
1/2 cup Paneer Cubes
1/4 cup Non fat Dry milk powder (I always replace “malai” or Milk Cream with this)
1/8 cup Oil
3 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon minced Garlic
1 teaspoon minced Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
1/2 teaspoon Red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon Sugar


1. Heat oil in a pan and add the paneer cubes. Spread them that each piece is separate.
2. Reduce the flame and Keep undisturbed until the side that is in contact to the pan is browned.
3. Turn the cubes and follow the same steps. Brown all the sides and set aside.
4. Now add the chopped Pak Chay to the remaining oil and allow to wilt.
6. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
7. Grind onion, ginger, garlic and tomato to a paste and add to the same oil.
8. Cook until all the liquid evaporates.
9. Now add 1/4 cup of water and mix well. Again boil until the water evaporates. Follow the same step one more time. This helps to cook the onion completely and no raw smell is left.
10. Add 1 cup of water and mix as a gravy.
11. Add salt, garam masala, red chilli powder and boil until oil separates.
12. Add the sugar, paneer and wilted Pak Chay. Add 1/4 cup water if necessary.
13. Allow to boil. Sprinkle the milk powder and mix well.
14. Boil for a minute and serve.

Pak Chay Paneer

Recipe 2: Pak Chay Palya (Pak Chay Stir fry)

Some times I feel so lazy that I end up mixing unusual ingredients and fix up a meal. This is one such recipe. πŸ™‚

pak chay palya


2 cups Pak Chay chopped
1 Yellow Squash chopped
1 Carrot chopped
2 table spoons lime pickle residue (You can replace with 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder and add lemon juice at the end)
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Oil
1/2 teaspoon Garam masala
1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
1 pinch Asafetida

pak chay chopped


1. Heat oil in a pan and add Mustard seeds and Asafetida.
2. When Mustard seeds splutter add carrot and yellow squash and stir fry until soft.
3. Add the Pak chay and cook.
4. Add salt and garam masala and stir fry for 2 minutes.
5. Add the pickle residue and mix well. Reduce the heat and cook for a minute.
6. Serve with Roti.

pak chay and roti


1. Nupur - July 19, 2007

I love it!!! I love your mathematical representation of the “problem”, I love your choice of X veggie, and I love the way you cooked it πŸ™‚ So, how did you like the taste of this mystery veggie? Both dishes look delicious.

2. Cinnamon - July 19, 2007

I never used this veggie before.. Learnt two new recipes today πŸ™‚
Both the dishes look yummy yummy!!!

3. Jyothsna - July 19, 2007

Smart choice πŸ™‚

4. Jyothi - July 19, 2007

Yeah like Cinnamon, this veggie is very for me too. Both dishes looks awesome. Great entries too. Thanks for sharing.

5. Asha - July 19, 2007

HeHe!! Nice title.I like Bok choy too.Palya looks delicious.Paneer dish is great with Parathas.Both are doable dishes with Bok Choy.Great work for X!:))

6. Suganya - July 19, 2007

Love Bok Choy. They are crunchy and tasted mild. I have even noticed this name. But dint go with it bcoz I dint know any indian way of cooking it.. Now I know πŸ™‚

7. TheCooker - July 19, 2007

Both dishes look great!

8. priyanka - July 22, 2007

Both recipes look great. Thanks for the pictures. Have never had Bok choy before. Will try them out.

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