Being a typical Kannadiga, I never used to cook or eat spinach. Both my mother and my mom-in-law rarely used spinach. Though we use lot of green leafy vegetables like menthya soppu(fenugreek leaves), dantu (amaranth), hongone (sessile joyweed), basale (a different type of spinach known as malabar spinach), sabsige (dil leaves), doddapatre (Coleus aromaticus ) ...this version of spinach was somehow missing from the list.
But, during my pregnancy, my doctor asked me to eat loads of palak(spinach) as it is rich in calcium & iron. I started cooking dal palak using the recipe from my colleagues. I learnt this particular dish from Tamkeen, one of my colleagues. This dish tastes so good that I have become a big fan of palak. We all needed a introduction to palak & now, the entire family is hooked to it :)
1 bunch spinach (I used 250gms packet)
1 medium sized onion
2 dry red chillies
3-4 tbsp grated coconut
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal
4-6 chopped curry leaves
a pinch of sugar
salt according to taste
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp chopped cliantro
- Wash the spinach leaves, chop them finely.
- Chop the onions finely.
- Tear the dry red chilli into 2-3 pieces.
- Heat the oil in a broad pan. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds, when mustard seeds splutter add urad dal, curry leaves. When urad dal turns golden brown add, torn red chillies.
- Add onion & sauté till onions turn golden brown.
- Add finely chopped spinach leaves & sauté well. Cook the spinach leaves for 5-7 minutes (or until soft) without adding any water (Spinach leaves out water, hence additional water is not required).
- When spinach is half cooked add salt, a pinch of sugar & mix well.
- Remove the pan from flame, add lemon juice. Mix well.
- Finally garnish it with coconut & cilantro.
- Serve this simple stir-fry as a side dish for rice, roti or any other Indian bread.