Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Curried Spinach with Garbanzo Beans

Spinach is one green that I really like and I try to make different sauces or curries out of it. I generally mix and match – sometimes I use Garbanzo beans, corn kernels, and chunks of potatoes, other beans or simply cottage cheese. However this recipe is with Garbanzo beans.

I add tomatoes to this to cut through the bitterness of the spinach and also it adds a tang to the dish. I love curries that are hot and spicy thereby the addition of green chilies gives that attitude to the recipe. I do add a little butter and cream to bring a depth and richness to the sauce. Adding these ingredients make an ordinary and immensely boring green to something extravagantly scrumptious.

I tend to eat this with rotis or the Indian flatbreads but you can pretty much eat it with anything you like. Sometimes I, even, toast good crusty bread and dunk it in this curry. Trust me; you’ll start loving spinach (like I do) if you make this once.

I mentioned using heavy cream and butter. Some people like it very rich and some like it light and fresh. So use the cream and butter accordingly - use less for light version or use more for rich version! Just replace the butter with mild olive oil to saute the beans in. 

For the Curry:
3 cups Spinach
2 can Garbanzo Beans    curry
½ c tomato puree
3 medium onions diced
3 Green Chilies or Serrano Peppers
1 tsp garlic paste
½ tsp ginger paste
½ tsp Whole cumin
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
2-3 tbsp Heavy Cream
1 tbsp of butter
1 cup of chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbsp any flavorless oil

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add the cumin until it the pops. An earthy aroma should be released at this point, add the diced onions and sprinkle a good pinch of salt. This will help the onions to brown faster. Add the green chilies, garlic and ginger paste. Sauté it for a few minutes and add the pureed tomatoes to the onions. The spices (Turmeric, Cumin and Garam Masala) have to be added to the tomatoes and in order to cook off the floury texture, just stir it on high for few seconds. Add the spinach and sauté it. You will see the spinach wilts very fast releasing all the water. Puree this mixture and keep aside.

Drain the chick peas/ garbanzo beans. Heat the tablespoon of melted butter and stir fry the beans until you have some color on it. Add the pureed spinach to it and let it bubble away for at least 15 minutes. I like this curry a little on the gravy side and that is why I use about a cup of chicken stock to dilute it. However, if you like it thick you can add just about ½ cup of the stock. And then let it simmer for 15 - 20 minutes or until the sauce starts to come together. Finish it with a tablespoon of two of heavy cream.

Serve with warmed tortillas or Rotis or steamed rice. 

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