Serving
(click to enlarge)

Spinach & Tomatoes
India - Northern
  -   Palak Toomatar
Serves:
Effort:
Time:
DoAhead:  
3 main  
***
1 hrs  
Yes
Palak Toomatar is a wonderful way to use fresh spinach. The finished dish is a complex medley of complementary flavors that need only rice to make a complete vegetarian meal. It will also work very well to accompany many western dishes, especially with rice as a third item. This dish takes refrigeration and reheating very well.






1
1-1/2
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10
1
1
1
2
1/2
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1/2
1/4
1
1/2
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3
1
#
#
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oz

cl
in
t
t
---
t
t
T
t
---
T
T
Spinach (1)
Tomatoes, ripe
-- Onion mix
Onion
Chili Serrano
Garlic
Ginger root
Coriander seeds
Cumin seeds
-- Spice mix
Pepper, black
Turmeric
Garam Masala (2)
Salt
-------
Oil (orig ghee)
Lemon Juice

Prep   -   (25 min)
  1. Float wash SPINACH. Cut stems in short pieces, chop leaves coarse.
  2. Scald and peel TOMATOES. Chop coarse
  3. Halve ONION lengthwise, slice thin crosswise. Chop CHILI and GARLIC fine. Slice GINGER very thin crosswise, then slice into very narrow matchsticks. Crush Cumin Seeds coarse. Mix all with Coriander Seeds.
  4. Grind Pepper and mix with Salt, Garam Masala and Turmeric.
  5. Squeeze LEMON JUICE.
Run   -   (30 min)
  1. Heat Oil in a spacious sauté pan or wok. Fry Onion mix slowly, stirring very often, until showing a touch of color.
  2. Add Spice Mix and fry stirring a couple minutes more.
  3. Add Spinach and fry stirring until wilted and coated with oil.
  4. Add Tomatoes and enough Water so there will be some free liquid. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Adjust liquid if needed. You should end up with a fair amount of liquid.
  5. Stir in Lemon Juice and adjust Salt to taste.
  6. Serve with plenty of steamed Basmati rice.
NOTES:
  1. Spinach:   Über expert Julie Sahni says Swiss Chard (leaf only) is a better match (and botanically closer) to what passes for "spinach" in India. 1 pound is after cleaning and trimming. You need to start with around 1-1/4 pound "as purchased", maybe more if the bunches are grungy and laden with mud. Wash by floating in a tub of clean cold water and sloshing it around.
  2. Garam Masala:   This is the essential spicing of Northern India, made by a thousand recipes (but with some basic consistency). You can purchase it, but it's better made at home - see our recipe Garam Masala.
  3. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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