Indian Spinach Recipe - Different From Palak Paneer (Saag Paneer)

by retgiwi

Most people are familiar with Palak Paneer (or Saag Paneer). This is a different Indian Spinach recipe that I use.

Introduction to Indian Spinach Recipe

When people search for Indian spinach recipes, they are usually looking for a palak paneer recipe (saag paneer recipe), one of the more popular north Indian dishes in Indian restaurants and in Indian cooking. As much as I love Palak Paneer, this article is about a different style of Indian spinach that I make at home. This is a typical spinach recipe in the state of Maharashtra, on the Western side of India. The most well known city in Maharashtra is Mumbai (Bombay).

Indian Spinach Recipe Ingredients

A basic feature of Indian cuisine is the spice base known as tadka. This is what gives Indian dishes their typical flavor. You will have to get these Indian spices to proceed. I have split the ingredients list into those items that are readily available at usual grocery stores, and those that may require going to an Indian grocery store.

Ingredients found at usual grocery stores

24 oz chopped spinach: either 1 large family size beg of frozen chopped spinach, or 2 regular sized bags of frozen chopped spinach, or chop 4 bunches of fresh spinach

12-15 cloves of garlic (about one medium bulb), peeled and finely minced

2 tsp salt

3½ cups buttermilk

¼ cup canola oil

6 cups boiling water

2 cups room temperature water

Ingredients found at Indian grocery stores

Depending on where you live, some of these may be found at usual grocery stores as well

1 cup chana dal (or channa dal); you may also see dal written as dahl

1 cup raw shelled peanuts

½ cup besan flour (gram flour)

1½ tsp mustard seeds

1½ tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp turmeric

½ tsp hing (asafotida)

6-7 dried red chilies, cut in half

1½ tsp red chili powder


If you do not have easy access to an Indian grocery store, you can get these items here:

Tadka Ingredients

Swad Chana Dal 2 Lbs

Chick Peas are also very high in dietary fiber and hence a healthy source of carbohydrates for persons with insulin sensitivity or diabetes.

$12.61  $9.09
Laxmi Gram Flour (Besan) - 2lb

Laxmi Brand is made pure and made fresh. Make savory vegetable fritters with the easy directions provided on the back of the package. Available in 2lbs, 4lbs and 10lbs!

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LG Hing (Asafoetida) 100g (3.5oz)

This authentic Asafoetida, or Indian Hing, is very popular throughout the world. Use sparingly, as this spice has a strong flavor and aroma. Asafoetida makes Indian and other ...

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3 lb. Muslin Bag Raw Shelled Virginia Peanuts

The possibilities for scrumptious peanut creations are endless with our extra-large raw shelled Virginia peanuts. These beauties are available without shells and with their ...

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Mustard Seeds 7oz

Discover naturally fresh, premium quality spices and taste the difference in all your dishes. We are Spicy World, bringing you the best spices and ingredients from around the ...

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Indian Spice Cumin Seeds (White Zeera) 3.5oz-

Cumin Seeds. Cumin is the seed of a small umbelliferous plant. The seeds come as paired or separate carpels, and are 3-6mm (1/8-1/4 in) long. They have a striped pattern of ...

Only $8.65

Tadka Ingredients

Spicy World Whole Dried Red Chili Peppers, 3.5-Ounce Bags (Pack of 24)

Spicy world whole dried red chili peppers are the finest quality red peppers available in india. often added on top of curries, meats, and rice dishes.

Indian Spice Deep Chili Powder Red (Regular) 7oz-

Chili Powder Red (Regular) Fine. Chile pepper - Chili pepper - Chilli pepper . Dried chilies can be used whole in curries and almost any other kind of slow-cooked liquid, as ...

$7.53  $7.47
Laxmi Turmeric Powder 200g

Laxmi Turmeric powder is used primarily in the preparation of many Indian and oriental dishes.

$7.74  $6.99

Indian Spinach Dish Cooking Instructions

1. Start by putting the spinach, chana dal, and peanuts into a large (6 quart) pot.

2. Add boiling water.

3. Cover the pot, and turn on medium-high heat until the dal is fully cooked (easy to mash between your fingertips). This should take about 20-25 minutes. Keep checking every few minutes to see when the dal is cooked.

4. While the spinach is cooking, mix the room temperature water and besan in a bowl, and whisk thoroughly until the flour is dissolved. The mixture should be fairly runny, with no lumps of besan left.

5. If you have not done so already, you can mince the garlic and cut the dried red chilies while the spinach is cooking.

6. When the spinach and dal are cooked, add the salt.

7. Add the water and besan flour mixture to the pot, and stir it in. Instantly cover the pot, since this mixture thickens quickly, and will splatter.

8. Reduce heat to medium-low.

9. In a few minutes, once you see an even boil, add the buttermilk and stir well.

10. Now let this again come to a boil while you prepare the tadka.


Instructions for Tadka:

1. Pour canola oil into a one quart pot and place on medium-high heat.

2.  After giving the oil a few minutes to heat up, add the mustard seeds. The mustard seeds should immediately sizzle and pop. Be careful not to let it splatter on you.

3. As soon as the popping of the mustard seeds slows down, shut off heat, and add the cumin seeds, the turmeric, hing (asafotida), and red chili powder.

4. Add the minced garlic and dried red chili peppers to the tadka pot. (You may want to turn on the exhaust fan of your kitchen hood)

5. Turn the heat back on medium-high, and let the tadka roast for a couple of minutes.

6. Shut off the heat, and pour all of the tadka into the main spinach pot, and stir it in.

7. Continue to heat the spinach for a few more minutes.

Additonal Tips

1. This dish can also be served as a soup. For this purpose, I recommend reducing the spiciness by using only less of the chili powder and dried red chilies. You could even add croutons.

2. Also makes an excellent side dish with the rest of you dinner.

3. If you have leftovers, you may find that the spinach has thickened. In that case, add 1-2 cups buttermilk or a combination of water and buttermilk before reheating and serving.



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Updated: 10/22/2011, retgiwi
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retgiwi on 10/03/2011

Great! Let me know how you like it. There is no paneer in this dish, so it will taste different from Palak Paneer, but still good!

mivvy on 10/03/2011

I love Palak Paneer, and I am certainly going to try this recipe

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