Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Pahari Spinach

These days I am on a veggie binge. I normally eat fish, chicken or mutton for lunch so I like to eat vegetarian food for dinner. I am a huge cheater when it comes to cooking. I enjoy it, but not enough to slave for hours together, so my eternal favourites tend to be those recipes that I can rustle up in 15 minutes. When it comes to food, I seem to have inherited from both my parents equally, from my father I get my love of food and from my mother I get the restlessness with long laborious recipes. Also from my mother I get my love for the greens.

My mother for years tried to convince us that spinach was a good thing, but I developed a taste only after school. I normally hated palak paneer and all gooey variations of spinach but I loved this dish that my mother claimed was taught to her by one of her friends from the hills. This takes no longer than 10 minutes to make including the assembling and an added benefit is that you don't have to chop anything but the ginger and garlic for the tadka.


1 Large bunch or spinach washed and cleaned well


Any cooking oil, I use sunflower or saffola but using mustard oil gives it a lovely zing
1 to 5 cloves of Garlic depending on how garlicky you like your food - crushed and chopped
1 inch Ginger - chopped into thin strips
1 teaspoon Cummin
A pinch of asafoetida
Salt to taste
4 dry red Chillies halved


In a kadhai (I use a non-stick heavy-bottomed wok), heat 1 tablespoon of oil, add cummin, chilles, ginger, garlic, asafoetida in that order. When the garlic starts turning brown, tear spinach and add to the wok/ kadhai. Turn the heat down and let cook for 3 minutes. Turn the spinach once, cover and cook for another 3 minutes. Uncover, turn the heat to high and dry all the water that has escaped from the spinach. Add salt after water has almost dried up, stir and take off heat.

I've never been able to decide if I like it better with plain steamed rice or rotis, though I am partial to rice thanks to being brought up in Bengal.


At 12:12 PM, Blogger Arun said...

Why does it look like sambol greens? Or is it only in my head?

At 10:14 AM, Blogger Plumpernickel said...

Now that you say it, it does look similar. Maybe because the cooking technique is pretty similar and the spinach is unchopped?


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