Sunday, January 24, 2010
Today I plan on making a healthy dinner for P, so I opted for plain palak curry option rather than going in for a slightly heavier version of palak paneer. The best thing about this dish is its simple, quick, easy and appetizing not to forget loaded with iron, minerals and other vital nutrients. I plan on serving this curry with chapati and to balance off the meal prepared onion-tomato raita, gujarati dal and plain chaval/rice.
Fresh Palak/spinach leaves 2 bunches, plucked and washed nicely
1 medium sized onion chopped
1 medium sized tomatoe chopped
2 tbs til/sesame seeds roasted and powdered
1 tbs ginger-chilli paste
1 tsp garlic paste
salt to taste
pinch of soda-bicarb
1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
pinch of asafoetida/hing
1/2 tsp turmeric powder/haldi
2 tbs oil for tempering
Bring 2 litres of water to boil in a deep pan. Add soda-bicarb and palak leaves to it and boil them for 3-4 mins. Turn off the heat and strain the leaves. Let them cool off for few mins. Puree them to a smooth paste adding just enough water to get the blender going, usually 1/4th cup shall be enough. Keep this puree aside.
In a heavy bottom pan heat oil for tempering, add cumin seeds and once they start spluttering add asafoetida, onion and ginger-chilli paste. Once onion has acheived translucent phase add garlic paste and just enough salt for onions and tomatoes. Cook till raw garlic smell has turned into nice aroma add tomatoes and turmeric powder. Let it cook till tomatoes are totally cooked and oil starts seperating.
Add powdered til and saute for one more minute.
Now add spinach puree and let the curry cook for 2-4 mins or till all ingredients have blended and nicely soaked in spinach curry. Now adjust salt according to your taste.
Remove this curry into a glass bowl, it helps to retain its lovely green colour, as iron in spinach tends to react with metal utensil in which it is prepared and the curry changes colour to deep maroonish or greenish maroon.
Adding salt in the end is crucial coz spinach is high in iron hence has a bit salty taste to it. Remember this recipe shall require less than half amount of salt that is required to cook any other greens of same quantity.
Curry is ready to be served. Goes gr8 with rice or paratha, chapati etc.
Add fried paneer/cottage cheese cubes to it makes it Palak Paneer curry dish.
Adding fried/boiled pototo cubes to it makes it Aloo Palak curry dish.
You can also have this plain palak curry with noodles for a change.
Adding Soda-bicarb while blanching spinach is crucial as it helps this dish to retain its fresh green colour. Although if you plan to cook this dish just before serving it, you can skip adding it altogether.