Catching the monkey with spinach bhaji

Mallika Basu - Catching the monkey with spinach bhaji

Posted 7th September 2007

spinach-bhaji.jpgAll these new cookery programmes have me hooked. And they seem to be having a rather strange effect on my little sister too.

In a bold move likely to transform her life altogether, she has decided to ditch her favoured cabbage soup and salad diet in favour of quick Indian cooking.

When she asked if I might teach her some easy recipes, I nearly choked and passed out. I managed a weak “of course” masking my excitement and unbelievable luck.

(A real-life, live-in case study – there is a GOD)

Sadly, it’s not going to be as easy as I first thought. She has already sliced her thumb, hurt her shoulder and virtually died at the sight of one tablespoon of oil. And I’m only just getting started!!

I’ve decided to “slowly, slowly catchy monkey”. I cooked the masala fish and jeera aloo in front of her and then a very simple spinach bhaji.

Wish me luck! And here’s the spinach bhaji for the beginning of your own kitchen adventure.

This recipe serves 2:

150gm frozen spinach

1 tsp mustard seeds

10 curry leaves

1 tsp lemon juice

1 dry whole red chilli

1 tbsp sunflower oil

Salt to taste

In a small frying pan, bring the oil to heat on a high flame.

When it’s hot, throw in the mustard seeds, red chilli and curry leaves to make a tarka. When they start sizzling and releasing their heady aromas, take the frying pan off the fire.

Put the spinach and the tarka in a microwaveable bowl. Add some salt to taste, cover and microwave on high for four minutes until the spinach is drefosted.

Take the bowl out of the microwave carefully and mix the spinach into the tarka. Then put it back in the microwave and heat for another minute until piping hot.

To finish, stir in the lemon juice and enjoy as a side dish to your meal.

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