Western Indian Spinach
Tis the month of spinach and greenery and our livers are thanking us for being drawn to these deep rich colors then serving them up for dinner. Right now the local spinach is delicate and young, you barely need to add anything.
A side of black tea with a splash of milk looks on the menu as well. We grew up drinking black tea with a bit of milk and sugar—our father bicycled across the British Isles in the 1940’s and brought back with him the love for this ‘universal cure for all problems among the English’. When drinking milk in your tea in a U.S. restaurant you have to be on your toes, waitstaff would never suspect there might ever be milk in tea so they helpfully pour a refill of coffee into the cup. Ah well.
This green dish is from western India, not the West Indies. Cumin, garlic, lemon, spinach and yogurt—these are combinations that get along. They could take a road trip together. They could be roomies in a house together. They could be in a band together. Somehow they will always work out any issues they may have when living in close quarters.
Greenery in the garden!
To zest a lemon these cute little zesters are handy, or use a sharp knife to slice thin layers of the yellow part of the peel (not the white) then slice into thin strips and mince. The peel holds the potent aromatic oils that add the punch of citrus to a dish. The inner white pith, though high in Vitamin C, is generally quite bitter.
The yogurt visually disappears when added to the heat of the spinach, but the tanginess remains. This would go well with a Dal, Basmati Rice, a Mango Lassi, and a cup of tea with a splash of milk. Or it would probably go well with whatever you are having for dinner tonight.
Enjoy this Season of Green!
West Indian Spinach
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Heat to medium in a large sauté pan:
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Cumin Seed
After a minute of sautéing the Cumin, add:
1 clove Garlic, minced
After another minute (before the garlic burns), add:
2 pounds fresh Spinach
Juice of a Fresh Lemon—to taste, maybe up to a whole lemon
Zest of a Fresh Lemon
Turn off the heat when spinach is wilted. Stir in:
1/4 cup Yogurt, Plain
Pinch of Cayenne
Pinch of Allspice
Pinch of Sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste