The green goodness of spinach

The green goodness of spinach

The green goodness of spinach

Vinaya Govind shows you some easy-to-knock-up spinach recipes.

Minor ailments are common in every household. Children especially, catch cold faster as they are susceptible to viral infections through air and water. Some spinach magic can help build resistance against these common infections. Cook up a few dishes with these fleshy green leaves for its health benefits are abundant.

Omelette With Spinach

Ingredients: A small bunch of spinach (blanched and finely chopped), 2 eggs beaten with a little salt and a pinch of pepper powder, 1 onion finely chopped, a green chilli finely chopped, a tbsp of finely chopped coriander leaves and oil.

Method: Heat 1tsp of cooking oil in a non-stick pan. Add the blanched spinach, onion, green chilli, coriander leaves to the egg mixture and blend them well using a fork. Pour in the mixture on the hot pan; use a spatula to spread the mixture evenly into a thick layer. Keep the heat low, cover and cook for two minutes. Flip the omelette and allow the other side to cook as well. Remove from the pan and serve hot.

[Note: If you find it difficult to flip the omelette, you could place a bigger plate on the pan and turn the pan upside down, so that the omelette drops into the plate. Put the pan on fire again and slowly slide in the omelette to cook the other side.]

Spinach-Dal Curry

Ingredients: ½ cup of toor dal, finely chopped leaves of a big bunch of spinach, 2 green chillies (slit lengthwise), 1 onion, 2 tomatoes, a small marble-sized ball of tamarind, 2 cloves of garlic, a pinch of turmeric powder, 1 tsp of cooking oil, salt to taste and 1 tsp of sambar powder.

For the tadka: 1 tsp of oil/ghee,  ½ tsp of mustard seeds, a sprig of curry leaves, 2 cloves of garlic crushed, a pinch of cumin seeds, a few pieces of dried red chillies.

Method: Pressure cook dal with all the ingredients except for salt and sambar powder till dal is soft, mushy, and done. Use a thick ladle and mash the mixture till spinach, dal, tomatoes, and onions blend well.

Heat this thick curry again, add salt to taste, a tsp of sambar powder and allow it to come to a boil. Heat oil, add mustard. Once they splutter, add curry leaves, cumin, crushed garlic and dry chilli pieces. Pour the tadka over the curry and serve with rice or rotis. (As a variation, you could try this recipe with other varieties of greens too.)

Chana-Palak gravy

Ingredients: 1 cup of kabuli channa soaked overnight and boiled with 1 tsp of salt till done, 1 cup of thick curd, 1 cup of blanched and ground spinach, 1 onion finely chopped, 1 tsp of ginger-garlic paste, 1 tsp of red chilli powder, 1 pinch of turmeric powder, 1 tsp of garam masala powder/ chole masala, 2 tbsp oil, and salt as per taste.

Method: Heat oil in a wok. Tip in the chopped onion, sauté till it turns golden brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste. Fry for a minute and add the masala powders. When the oil separates, add the boiled chana. Pour in the ground spinach. Mix and coat the masala on the chana. Add salt according to taste and leave covered for another minute. Pour the thick curd over the chana mixture and stir well. Cook for a minute and remove from fire.

Just before serving, sprinkle a pinch of chilli powder and a few coriander leaves. Serve hot with roti, naan, or any rice dish.

Stuffed palak pakodas

Ingredients: 2 potatoes boiled and mashed, 1 onion finely chopped, ½ tsp of garam masala powder, 2 green chillies finely chopped, a pinch each of red chilli powder, coriander powder, ¼ tsp of turmeric powder, ½ tsp of ginger-garlic paste, 2 tbsp of oil,  a pinch of chaat masala and 1 tbsp of finely chopped coriander leaves, a bunch of spinach (make sure the leaves are big), and oil for frying.

For the batter: 1 cup of chickpea flour (besan), ¼ tsp of soda-bicarbonate, 1 tsp of rice flour, ¼ tsp of salt, a pinch each of chilli powder and turmeric powder. Mix all the ingredients using water to make a thick batter.

Method: Heat oil in kadai, fry chopped onions and green chilli till they are light brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for a minute. Add the other masala powders. Tip in the mashed potatoes and mix well. Add salt according to taste. Sprinkle the chaat masala and coriander leaves. Allow the potato mixture to cool.

Meanwhile, wash and pat-dry the spinach leaves. Take a little of the potato mixture, place it on the leaf and roll it. Use a toothpick to fasten the other end after rolling. Now, dip these stuffed spinach leaves in the batter and fry in hot oil till they are crisp and golden brown. Serve hot with tomato sauce.

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