Spinach is one of the most versatile vegetables and it takes centre stage in this recipe. No, 400 grams of spinach is not a typo; it wilts down to almost nothing, but leaves you with a dish full of greens. It’s often looked at as a side, but there’s no reason why it can’t be served as a main dish with rice or dhal.
Serves 4 as a main, 6 as a side
4 medium potatoes
½ tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp asafoetida
1 tsp sugar
juice from 1 lemon (about 3 tbsp)
4 tbsp water
3 tbsp ghee, rapeseed or coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves
2-3 fresh green chillies, seeded and finely chopped
2.5cm (1 inch) fresh ginger, finely grated
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
400g fresh spinach, trimmed, and roughly chopped
sea salt, to taste
Boil or bake the whole potatoes, with skins on, until a knife can be easily inserted. This is to keep in the flavour of the potato and to ensure that they are not over cooked. Remove the skin from the cooked potatoes and cut into small wedges.
In a small bowl, whisk together the spices, sugar, lemon juice and water.
Heat the ghee or oil in a large heavy bottomed non-stick skillet over a medium high heat. When hot, add the potatoes and fry until golden brown, gently stirring often for 5-8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the mustard and cumin seeds to the pan. Fry, stirring often, until the mustard seeds begin to dance and pop. Add the onion and cook until it starts to turn golden, adding a splash of water if it begins to stick.
Add the garlic, chillies and ginger and cook for another minute. Then add the ground spice and liquid mixture and continue to stir for another few minutes until most of the water has evaporated. Add the tomatoes and simmer for another 5 minutes or until the tomato has thickened and the liquid has evaporated.
Stir in the spinach a few handfuls at a time, until each handful is slightly wilted. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid, stir in the potatoes and season with salt. Cook for another 5 minutes to heat the potatoes through.
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