I have been reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and in her book she talks about the importance of eating greens and why so many kids dislike spinach. Her theory is that when you overcook spinach, it turns almost black, and no child will want to eat a lump of black goo. Fair enough. Not many adults would either.
I am a lover of all things green and leady (and no, this does NOT include the green leafie that goes into ‘special’ brownies…I am a responsibe mother!) and I try and include something every day. The easiest recipe for spinach I have is a spinach raita or yogurt-based salad my mom makes. It is so easy, and is such a great accompaniment to roti and rice, and it works with all kinds of Indian cuisine.
All you need is a bunch of spinach, some yogurt and salt. THAT’S IT. You may also take the liberty of adding other green garnishes like mint and cilantro, but this raita tastes good as is.
I learned this from Rachel Allen’s Home Cooking, when she was making a spinach quiche. She said that when blanching spinach, only pour enough water to just about cover the spinach. Drowning it in water will rob the spinach of all it’s goodness, because the folic acid will seep out. So add water accordingly.
- 1 bunch spinach, cleaned
- 400 grams yogurt (one regular dabba of store-bought dahi)
- Salt to taste
- A few leaves of mint and cilantro, chopped
- Blanch the spinach in water for a few minutes
- Drain water and wring excess water
- Finely chop the spinach
- In a bowl, mix yogurt, chopped spinach, mint and cilantro until evenly combined. Add salt to taste. That’s it!!
This would taste even better with sour cream and could double up as a dip with crackers. But unfortunately I haven’t been able to source sour cream in Mumbai so far. For a little variation, you could sprinkle some paprika on top and/or drizzle a little olive oil, if you would like to go Mediterranean-style. Improvisation is what makes cooking fun! (I did this to try and make it look phancy. The operative word being tried.)