Bend It Like Beckham: Spinach with Coconut
With two hot and spicy dishes on the menu we'll want to add some things to cool down the palate. This spinach dish goes straight to the table in its pan.
- 2 Clove Garlic
- 1 small Red Onion
- 1/8 t Cayenne Pepper
- 1/2 C unsweetened Desiccated Coconut
- 1 t Salt
- 1 lb. Fresh Spinach
- 1 hot Green Chili (optional)
- 1 T Olive Oil
- 1/2 t Mustard Seed
- 2 Shallots
- 1 dried, hot, split red chili (optional)
- 15 Curry Leaves (optional, but recommended)
The first thing we need to do is to "reconstitute" the unsweetened Desiccated coconut. Put the 1/2 C unsweetened Desiccated Coconut into a bowl. Add 1/3 C water and let stand for one hour. This will hydrate the Coconut.
Peel the 3 Cloves of Garlic and 2-3 Shallots
Put the Garlic and Shallots into the food processor.
Add 1/8 to 1/4 t Cayenne Pepper to the food processor.
Our coconut has puffed up with water.
Add 1 t Salt to the processor.
Add the 1 C Coconut to the processor.
We want to add about a half cup of water to the processor. In my case, this was how much was left in the coconut bowl. Add more from the tap, as needed.
If you're using whole leave spinach, shred it. If using baby leaf spinach you don't have to do anything to it to prepare it. Heat the 1 lb. of Spinach in a frying pan or wok with a 1/4 C of water. Raise the heat high. Cover. After a minute or two it will start to steam.
By now the spinach will have wilted. Reduce the heat to medium, and uncover the pan. Make a "donut" type hole in the middle of the spinach and pour the ingredients from the food processor in. If you want you can sprinkle the coconut mixture with 1 chopped, seeded Green Chili. Now cover once again and let the mixture cook for a few minutes more.
Heat a separate frying pan. Like most of our Indian dishes, we'll finish this one off with a bit of contrasting "crunch". Pour in 1 T or so of oil and immediately add: 1 t uncooked Rice and 1/2 t mustard seed to the hot pan. They will start to pop at once.
This would be the moment to add the 2 Shallots. Pretend you see them here. Cook them on a medium heat until they begin to change color.
Add a split red chili pepper, if you want the dish to have zing.
Now add the curry leaves and cook them until they wilt.
Sprinkle the spinach with the "crunch".
Bring the dish to the table.
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