This week’s blog will add some vibrant green to your repertoire of Indian dishes.
‘Spinach with Onion, Ginger and Chili’ is another versatile dish that I think would also go very well with grilled or BBQ’d salmon.
As with the dal recipe from last week, it freezes well despite the fact that it contains previously frozen leaf spinach.
I did tell you that these recipes would be easy and I wasn’t exaggerating!
All you’ll need to create the fabulous ‘Mint & Cilantro Relish’ (besides the ingredients) is a food processor.
Honestly, this relish is so delicious that I’m amazed I haven’t found anything exactly like it in any Indian restaurant and it would also go really well with grilled or roast lamb.
Traditionally, Indian dishes containing yogurt call for the whole milk variety – I’ve made this relish with fat free Greek yogurt – also good but creates a much thicker result. I’d stay away from the regular fat free stuff – too watery.
By using just a few Indian dishes to spice up your regular fare you could become a master of ‘fusion’ cuisine.
SPINACH with ONION, GINGER & CHILI (Mughlai saag)
2 lbs (1kg) of frozen leaf spinach, thawed and drained
4 tablespoons of vegetable oil such as grapeseed, canola or sunflower – or ghee (clarified butter, available from Indian supermarkets)
4 oz (110g) of onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
½ – 1 fresh green chili, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
½ – 1 teaspoon of salt, to taste
½ teaspoon of sugar
¼ teaspoon of garam masala
Heat the oil (or ghee) in a pan over medium heat. When hot, add the onions and stir for a few minutes until softened.
Add the drained spinach, chili, ginger, salt and sugar. Continue to stir and cook for another 5 minutes then add 4 fl oz (125ml) of water; bring to a simmer, cover with a tight fitting lid, turn the heat down to low and cook for 10 more minutes.
Uncover and crank up the heat to evaporate any excess liquid.
Just before serving, sprinkle the garam masala over the spinach and stir to combine thoroughly. This freezes well.
And now for the most wonderful relish….
MINT & CILANTRO (Coriander) RELISH (Pudina-dhaniya ki chutney)
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint leaves
½ oz (15g) of chopped fresh cilantro (coriander leaves), including any small tender stalks
1 fresh green chili, seeded and chopped
1 small garlic clove, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
½ teaspoon of salt or to taste
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 oz (125g) of plain whole milk yogurt, or Greek style low fat/fat free
1 oz (25g) of ground almonds
Put everything in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl and chill for at least 2 hours to allow all the flavors to develop. This will be fine kept covered in the fridge for a few days. Not suitable for freezing.