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)



Trim the fat and gristle from the meatThe 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.
Pound the meat under a baggiePeel the 3 Cloves of Garlic and 2-3 Shallots
The meat is evenly thin Put the Garlic and Shallots into the food processor.
Add a T of cornstarch to a bowlAdd 1/8 to 1/4 t Cayenne Pepper to the food processor.
Add a T of Dijon MustardOur coconut has puffed up with water.
Blend the Mustard and the cornstarch into a pasteAdd 1 t Salt to the processor.
Add a cold cup of beef broth and stir till smoothAdd the 1 C Coconut to the processor.
Chop the scallionsWe 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.
Chop the parsleyIf 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.
Chop the parsleyBy 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 the butter to the oilAdd a split red chili pepper, if you want the dish to have zing.
Add the green peppercornsNow add the curry leaves and cook them until they wilt.
Saute the meat for 30-40 seconds on a sideSprinkle the spinach with the "crunch".
Add a couple of drops of Worcestershire sauceBring the dish to the table.

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