Spinach is a vegetable that is not so talked about frequently, but leaves an impact on the taste buds. The mild green colour and the crunchy texture goes well with the palak (spinach) and the bhaji (mix) that adds the flavour of the vegetable.

Spinach can be an acquired taste, but with the right blend of spices, it can really taste like heaven on earth. I always prepare this dish when I’m feeling under the weather, and it helps improve my general mood a little. It is a worthy meal to share with your loved ones, even though it may seem like an expensive one.

This is how my mother makes it. It’s a healthy dish without too much oil or spices, even my kids love it. You can also add onions and chickpeas for a heartier meal.

Sukhi bhaji palak ki is a favourite dish in our household and across south India. It’s served with either roti (chapathi) or plain rice. The spinach we use in India is not the same as what we see in UK supermarkets. It’s referred to as “baby spinach leaves.” When I make a spinach stir fry in the south Indian manner, which we call sukhi bhaji, which means dry fry, I either cut it or cook it whole, since it is a tiny leaf. It’s also extremely simple for me to prepare; no chopping is required. In the south, spinach is known as keerai, or palak kura in Andhra Pradesh, although everyone makes keerai poriyal (green leaf stir fry) using whatever they have on hand. I’ve done stir fry using mulai keerai (amaranath leaves) as well, and you may use those green leaves for stir fry as well. Because green leafy vegetables are a rich source of iron, I often prepare them for my meals. I use fresh or dried coconut, which we call copra in Andhra Pradesh. We add shredded coconut to any vegetable stir fry (poriayl) after it’s finished; you may use fresh or dried coconut. So my mother usually grinds it ahead of time and keeps it in the fridge for 3 to 4 days, then she adds 1 garlic clove and roughly grinds it with the 4 tbsp coconut, giving it a distinct flavor. This combination may be used to make ladies finger fries, potato fries, bean fries, cabbage, carrot fries, and other green leaf vegetable fries.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 3 dried chilies
  • 12 curry leaves
  • 300 gms Palak (spinach)
  • 4 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 3 green chilies, chopped
  • 4 tbsp grated fresh coconut
  • a pinch of salt (to taste)

Method

  • Remove the veggies from the pot and set them aside.
  • Chop palak (spinach) or shred it in a food processor after draining out all the water, or use whole if it’s baby spinach. I’ve showed you both chopping and cooking spinach whole in the photos.
  • In a larger pot or kadai, heat the oil, then add the mustard seeds, dry chilies, and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds, dry chilies, and curry leaves begin to sputter, add the garlic and green chilies and stir well for a few seconds.
  • Now add the chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until it is translucent and tender.
  • Now add the spinach and stir well with the remaining spices for 4 minutes before simmering.
  • Close the cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the spinach is well cooked, shrunk, and no liquid remains.
  • Finally, add the shredded coconut and salt, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes with the lid closed, to ensure that all of the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
  • Serve this sukhi bhaji with plain rice and a teaspoon of ghee; it’s wonderful and one of my favorites.
  • It goes well with simple rice or roti as a side dish (chapathi).

Notes

  • I sometimes add 1 garlic clove to the coconut and roughly ground it instead of shredding it; it has a nice taste and flavor.
  • Only shredded coconut is added at the end.
  • You may add shredded coconut to taste and decrease the amount of chilies if it’s too hot.
  • Instead of spinach and other green leaves that may be stir-fried, I use mulai keerai (amaranth leaves).
  • If the spinach has moisture, cook it over high heat until it absorbs all of the water, stirring constantly, before adding the coconut at the end.

 

Spinach is the most underutilized vegetable in the Indian kitchen. In fact, almost no one can prepare it right. And what’s worse, no one can prepare it right for you. This is why I’m here to help you. In this article, I will show you how to prepare a simple spinach stir fry. If you follow all steps as per the recipe, you will get a very tasty dish that is healthy, nutritious and easy to prepare.. Read more about palak tamatar ki sabzi and let us know what you think.