Friday, 2 November 2012

Palak Raita (Spinach with Yoghurt and Spices)

I'm going through a big spinach phase at the moment. There's no better way to prepare it than to wash it thoroughly (grit is HORRIBLE!) pile it into a big saucepan and cook it in the rinsing water for a few minutes, then squeeze it out completely and use or serve as soon as you can. I like it very simply dressed with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and a generous dusting of salt.

Tonight's curry calls for a more robust treatment, and fortunately my Giant Asian Cookbook is ready to provide. They start by cooking the spinach in exactly the same way I do - so really it's just the dressing that changes.


  • a big bunch of spinach, cooked as described above
  • 1 tbsp ghee or butter
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds or ground fenugreek
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 250g plain yoghurt

Fry the mustard seeds in the ghee or butter at a low heat  until they start to pop, Add the cumin seeds, ground cumin and fenugreek, and stir fry with a wooden spoon until the spices colour - but be careful not to burn them. Remove from the heat, and add the salt and cayenne, if using, then allow to cool. Swirl the spinach, yoghurt and spice mixture together in a bowl; serve cold or at room temperature (more fragrant).

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