As you learn more and more about Indian cuisine, you will notice that not only every region has its own cuisine and delicacies but also different food is made at different occasions.t is believed that different food bring in different qualities to your body and mind.For e.g. whenever there is a religious occasion, typically food is cooked without onion and garlic.
Yesterday was one such special day, it is believed that Lord Vishnu the creator goes to sleep on this day. A lot of Indians keep a fast on this day.
Today I decided to make a meal which had no onion or garlic. My kids love Indian food, so decided to make their favorites.
This particular curry is very typical of a brahmin household. In brahmin cuisine, you will see heavy usage of milk products along with ginger and Cumin. This recipe can be made with any of the greens except Fenugreek, I feel that it tastes way too bitter.
2 cups of cleaned washed and chopped Spinach leaves
1/4 cup raw peanuts
2 tbsp Chana daal
1 cup Buttermilk ( If you don’t have buttermilk you can use Yogurt blended with some water)
2 tsp Besan ( Chick pea flour)
1 green chili, split in two pieces
1 clove of Garlic ( optional)
1 pinch of Asafoetida
1/2 tsp Jeera ( Cumin Seeds)
1 pinch of Sugar
Salt to taste
Oil or Ghee for tempering
Soak the peanuts and Chana daal in water for 30-40 mins. Add some salt and set aside.
In a pressure cooker add some water. In a steel pot add the chopped spinach with 2 tbsp of water and the bowl with soaked peanuts and daal.
Pressure cook for 2 whistles.
When the cooker is cooled down, take out the spinach and mash with a ladle or your hand.
Mix in the cooked Peanuts and Chana Daal.
In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk with the chickpea flour, sugar and salt. Make sure there are no lumps of chickpea flour. Add water if needed to make a mixture that is like a thin smoothie.
Add this mixture to the spinach mixture.
Now you can make it two ways. You can make Tadka ( tempering) in a pot and add the spinach mixture and cook. Or, cook the spinach mixture and then temper it later. Both work great.
Heat oil or ghee in a sauce pan. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and saute for 10 sec. Add green chilies, and chopped garlic( if using). If you add garlic, leave out the Asafoetida.
Saute till the Garlic is a little browned.
Add the Spinach mixture and cook on a really low flame, stirring frequently. Cooking on a low flame ensure that the buttermilk does not curdle and allows the Chickpea flour to cook completely.
Here is the second method:
Cook the spinach mixture in a pot.
Make the tempering in a ladle. I use the iron one. I love it since it has a long handle and does not get hot, and it helps me get some extra iron in my diet.
Add the tempering ( oil mixture) to the cooked Spinach mixture
Add chopped cilantro and serve.
If you want to serve it with rice, you can make it a bit thinner. If you want to serve it with Roti/bread, you can make it a bit thicker.
I love eating it even on its own. It tastes great hot or cold.
Tonight I served it with whole wheat roti( Indian bread), sautéd Tondli and home made cultured butter.