Whether you want to stay fit or wish to have a glowing skin the solution is to include greens in your diet. Last year Kale leaves became very popular just like some trend and everyone tried it, talked about it and blogged about it. I too wanted to include atleast one Kale recipe in my vegetarian blog but I just couldn't stand the taste of kale- the colour, the flavour, the texture nothing impressed me. So I decided to part my way with kale and became friendlier with spinach.
Spinach or as we say palak or saag in hindi is my favorite green. The crisp and bright green spinach is not just appealing to eyes, but is a home for lot of nutrients. It is low in fat and even lower in cholesterol, spinach is high in niacin and zinc, as well as protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese. And another jewel in the crown is its price and availability- available throughout the year in every part of the world and is very much affordable. So to simplify-include spinach in your daily diets as it is loaded with goodness for every part of your body and pocket.
On a friendlier note with spinach I share with you one great dip recipe- Palak Ki Chuntey/ Spinach dip. It is not only easy peasy but indeed very delicious and a sure shot crowd pleaser. Indian spices, lentils and curry leaves are roasted on tava with spinach, and finally grinding to a smooth paste. Now it is versatile recipe and you can do whatever you wish to do with it. I like to use it as a marinate for tandori panner tikka or even have it as pasta sauce. Use it as a spread, a dip for spicy daal pakodas, or as a side with tawa pulav or aloo parathas.
2 cups spinach/palak
1/4 cup chopped coriander/dhaniya
1 teaspoon oil
2 teaspoon white gram/Urad dal
2 teaspoon Split Bengal Gram/Chana dal
2-3 green chillies/hari mirch
1/2 inch peiece ginger/adrak
8-10 curry leaves
2 cloves garlic/lehsun
Juice from one lemon/nimbu
1 teaspoon mustard seeds/rai/sarso
Salt to taste
- Chop ginger, garlic, green chillies, tomato and spinach leaves finely.
- Heat oil in a pan, and on slow flame add mustard seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida, garlic, ginger and green chillies.
- When the raw smell fades away, add in chopped spinach. Let spinach cook for 5 minutes or till it turns mushy and leaves water.
- Add chopped tomato and cook till it becomes soft and mushy.
- Grind the above vegetable mixture with coriander leaves in the mixer to a smooth paste.
- Mix all the remaining spices and serve.
This chutney will keep well in the fridge for 1 week. Keep in air tight container.
I used baby spinach, but use any kind you want.
Never ever cover the pot when cooking spinach. Leaving the pot uncovered helps to release more of the acids with the rising steam.
Remember spinach is bit salty due to sodium content, so add little salt first. Taste and then adjust.
Serve as a side with dosa, idli or cheelas.
Great accompaniment with sandwiches and rolls and savory snacks like pakodas, dhoklas, momos or tikkis.
Serve the Indian way with daal and rice or parathas.
You can also serve as a dip for bread, nachos or crackers.
This goes well as a spread frankies or pitta pockets.