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Palak

For those both patient and daring, I reward you with my recipe for palak, which is an Indian dish consisting of pureed greens and spices. I arrived at this combination by taking seven recipes from the Internet and using the common elements of each. It's basic, and can be added to, but it will give you a genuine article that your Indian friends will like.


Prepare a pile of chopped onions and about one and a half times as much chopped greens. This is the only proportion of any significance, all else is guesswork and preference. The greens are most usually spinach, but I like to use two parts spinach and one part mustard greens.

Sautee the onions in oil until clear.

Mince some garlic and chilis and sautee them a bit too.

Scatter generous amounts of turmeric, coriander, and some cayenne pepper if you want more fire. Add a little salt. Stir it all up and let it go a while.

Add some kind of cream product. This can be actual cream, sour cream, or cream cheese.

When you can smear the surface of the mixture with a spoon, begin putting in the spinach by handfuls. Stir. Wait for each handful to wilt down before putting in the next one.

When all the spinach has gone in, turn the fire off and run batches of the mixture through a blender. Put it all back in the pan again over low heat and cook out some of the water. This is also the time to add some butter, or more pepper if it's not hot enough.

Traditionally palak is served with cubes of a mild Indian cheese known as paneer, but it can be served also with potato cubes or indeed just by itself.