The first of those names is what this dish was called in my parents’ home; but since saag is not a term a lot of people seem to know readily, I thought I’d like to call it the other two as well, since the base for this dish does come from the fairly standard onion-tomato-garlic-ginger-dry spices masala which is common to many curries.
I remember the first time Indira exclaimed “I really like palak !” though both she and Noor have always eaten it without any fuss.
It was the day I had added, as I always saw my mother do, a teaspoon of ghee near the end of the cooking process. The result is a quite delicious, special taste 🙂
Especially if one uses frozen spinach, this can be a quick and easy subzi to make.
This is what we’ll eat for dinner tonight, with varan, phulkas and some chicken curry for the girls – it is their first day back in school after the holidays so it is very likely they won’t have been pleased with whatever was on offer in the cantine for lunch 🙂
Palak Ka Saag
Well I am back a day later to add the recipe to this post. Before that though, I want to record that I needn’t have worried about the girls’ school lunch yesterday at all ! It turned out there was steak hache and pasta on the menu so a very good meal was had by all prompting the girls to say
” Mama I missed you but I would not have wanted to come home today fro lunch because then I would have missed the steak !! ”
But they did justice to the chicken curry and spinach anyway, so I guess that’s okay 🙂
On to the “curried spinach” –
4 tablespoons of sunflower oil
400 grams of frozen spinach leaves
2 medium sized onions, chopped fine
2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped fine or 4-5 tablespoons of canned tomatoes pulp
1 or 1 and a 1/2 teaspoons each of ginger paste and garlic paste (or equivalent amounts of freshly grated ginger and garlic)
1/2 teaspoon each of turmeric powder, kashmiri chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder
3 pods of green cardamom, cracked slightly
salt (about 1 and a 1/2 teaspoons, or to taste)
1 teaspoon of melted ghee
Defrost the spinach leaves. When they are at room temperature chop them fine in a food processor.
In a large frying pan, heat the oil, then add the cardamom pods. When their aroma starts to be released, add the onions and fry till they start to go from a golden brown to a darker brown – but not longer than that. Add the ginger and garlic pastes, fry for a couple of minutes, then add the tomatoes (or pulp). Fry this mixture till the oil starts to appear on the sides. Add all the dry spices next and fry for a minute. Add the spinach now, season with salt, and cook, covered, till the leaves are soft enough. A minute before you take the pan off the fire, add the aforementioned teaspoon of ghee, and mix it in thoroughly for a sublime taste 🙂