Keerai Molagootal | Spinach with a Peppery Coconut Gravy

A bunch of beautiful spinach leaves from the garden – what can be better than cooking them with toor dal and coconut with a pepper hit? This recipe is a Palakkad recipe – from that region in Kerala on the border of Tamil Nadu. The area is a melting pot of influences especially Tamil and Malayalam. This dish is quite traditional. Some recipes include pepper and others do not. As it’s name indicates with pepper, that is how we cooked it. It is quite similar to a kootu, but subtly different. It is much like the Poritha Kuzhambu of Tamil Nadu.

In Kerala, many different greens are used for this dish, even cabbage. It can be made with chowchow, long beans, snake gourd and yellow pumpkin. Mixtures of vegetables such as plantain, carrot, yam, potato and chowchow, are also excellent. Indian greens include mulai keerai, paruppu keerai, thandu keerai, palak keerai, and ara keerai – oh to have the same range of greens here.

Similar dishes include Moringa Leaf Dal, Poritha Kootu, and Ridged Gourd Masiyal.,

Browse all of our Spinach dishes. Our Kootu recipes are here. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Spinach with Garlic and Lemon

One of our favourite ways of serving spinach is cooked with garlic and lemon juice. Quick and easy, it suits our style, and is s0 very delicious. Serve with a chickpea dish or one with cannellini beans. Or layer onto chickpea flour pancakes, enfold into roasted vegetable wraps, or top a dish of dal.

I have added lemon flesh and grilled lemon and garlic to this dish, but if you don’t have the time, just add lemon juice instead of the flesh, and omit the grilled lemon slices and grilled garlic.

Similar dishes include Every Meal some Simple Greens, Spinach with Roasted Sesame Seeds, Chickpeas and Spinach, and Buttery Spinach Stems.

Browse all of our Spinach recipes, or explore our Late Winter dishes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Dates and Baby Spinach Salad With Almonds and Sumac | One Delicious Salad!

What defines a salad? There are salads of raw ingredients and salads of cooked ingredients, cold salads and warm salads, salads of vegetables and salads with fruit, and salads with dried fruits. There are salads without fruit and without vegetables. There are dressings with oil and vinegar, or miso, pomegranate molasses or tahini. There are salads without dressings. Salads can be tossed, mixed, layered and composed. How to define a salad!

The word salad comes from the French salade of the same meaning, from the Latin salata (salty), from sal (salt). In English, the word first appears as salad or sallet in the 14th century. Salt is associated with salad because vegetables were seasoned with brine or salty oil-and-vinegar dressings during Roman times.

But as soon as we try to create some rules that categorically define a salad, we find exceptions. Despite the confusion, we can all recognise a salad when we see one. There is no confusing it with soup, or pudding, or a pasta dish.

Salads are also evident in most cuisines, even India has quite a few salads even though they are not well represented in restaurants or cookbooks. Today we travel to Israel via Ottolenghi’s book Jerusalem. The salad is composed of marinated dates, crispy flatbread, toasted nuts, and baby spinach. It does sour via lemon juice, vinegar and sumac, hot with chilli, pungent with onion and sweet with the dates.

Sumac, a tart, deep-red spice, is a key ingredient for this recipe – buy yours from a Middle Eastern shop, it is quite different to brands available via the local supermarket. The pita and almonds in the recipe are cooked for a few minutes on the stove to crisp up, but that is the only heat required. The rest is easy.

It is Ottolenghi Cook the Books day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking mainly from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar dishes include Spinach Stem Salad with Sultanas and Pinenuts, Glass Noodles with Spinach, and Orzo Pasta with Wilted Spinach.

Browse all of our Spinach Salads and all of our Israeli dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Jerusalem are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through his book Plenty More. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Malabar Spinach in Spicy Gravy | Bachali Koora Pulusu

Pulusu is an Andhra gravy dish with tamarind. It is often called a soup or a stew, and can be made with a variety of vegetables. Okra is common, but today we make it with Malabar Spinach, one of the many different greens sometimes referred to as Chinese Spinach.

The dish is spiced with mustard seeds and sesame seeds, and can be eaten soup-like, or with hot rice. I love it over rice. It doesn’t take very much time to make, so in this household, it is a perfect lunch dish.

Are you after other Andhra dishes? Try Spinach with Garlic and Lemon, Stirfried Okra with Sesame Seed, and Andhra Spinach Chutney.

We have some other Spinach dishes that you can browse, or browse all of our Andhra Pradesh recipes. Our collection of Indian dishes is here. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

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Spinach with Roasted Sesame Seeds

Since beginning a vegetable garden around 11 months ago, we have been eating far more greens. All sorts of greenery thrives in the garden – dozens of herbs, lettuces, spinaches, chards and other spinach-like greens. Salads have become de rigueur, and delicious concoctions of green leaves appear more often on our table. I make a mean Spinach Rice, for example, a wonderful 1-pot dish that cooks itself in the rice cooker, and a beautiful Spinach Thoran from the West Coast of India.

But the recipe today is quite a straight forward dish that mixes Spinach with a dressing of soy and sesame seeds. It is really quite delicious and goes well with any meal. For meals at home on my own, I will even pair this with rice and eat it with chopsticks while watching my favourite night time TV drama. I must admit to often adding chilli as well. Sometimes I even forget the rice.

Are you after other Spinach/Greens recipes? Start here: Every Meal some Simple Greens,  then try Spinach with Garlic and Lemon, Asian Kale with Sesame and Crispy Shallots, Malabar Spinach in Spicy GravyMushroom, Spinach and Blue Cheese Salad, Madras Sweet Potato, Spinach and Eggplant Curry, and Mung Dal with Spinach and Cumin.

What about Sesame Seed recipes? Try Steamed Japanese Eggplant with Sesame Seeds and Spring Onion, Warm Cucumber Salad with Sesame, and Dukkah and Zaathar.

Or you might like to browse all of our Spinach Recipes, or all of our Sesame recipes. Alternatively, take some time to explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Saag Aloo | Spinach with Potatoes

A classic Indian Dish, one you will see everywhere. It is a surprising dish really – take some spinach, a few potatoes, and a few spices and the result is a dish that is easy to make and amazingly delicious.

There are two ways of making saag aloo one is a dry saag aloo – and the other has the potato coated in a wet, smooth spinach gravy. Today’s recipe is the dry version – potatoes are mixed with sautéed spinach and spices.

Sauce-free Indian curries like these are really just slightly-more-elaborate vegetable sautés—toast spices in some oil, add in your vegetables, and finish with salt and sometimes a touch of sugar to season the simple, healthful spicy glaze that coats the vegetables. Simple, but deceivingly flavour-packed and delicious.

Also check Aloo Palak Subzi, a version of this dish without the tomatoes and with fried potatoes.

You might also like Malabar Spinach in Spicy Gravy, Mint Paneer, Makhana Palak (Lotus Seeds in Spinach Gravy), Sweet Potato, Eggplant and Spinach Dry Curry and Palak Pachadi (Spinach and Yoghurt).

Browse other Spinach Recipes here and here and other Potato Recipes here and here. Other Indian recipes are here and here, or find inspiration in our Mid Spring recipes.

Never a pretty dish, the dry version of Aloo Saag is always packed full of flavour. I made this dish with mixed greens including some reddish ones, which darkened the spinach base a little.

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Glass Noodles with Spinach

Glass Noodles are wonderful – silky, soft and translucent, they are great in salads, soups and stir fries. Other names for these noodles include Cellophane Noodles, Chinese Rice Vermicelli and Chinese Vermicelli. They don’t take much to prepare – stiff like wire when you buy them, they soften with a short soak in hot water, and within about 5 minutes they are ready to toss with other ingredients. But don’t mix them up with Indian rice Vermicelli, that is vermicelli of a different type.

This salad takes some fresh, younger spinach and wilts it with sesame oil before tossing with the glass noodles. You can sprinkle with some sesame seeds to complete the dish.

Similar dishes include Persian Noodles with Eggplant, Saffron and Kashk, Glass Noodles and Green Mango Salad, Indian Vermicelli Payasam, and Sweetcorn and Spinach Bhurji.

Browse all of our Spinach dishes, and all of our Vermicelli dishes. Our Asian dishes are here. Or browse our Early Spring recipe collection.

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Chinese Style Greens with Garlic and Sesame

If you are like me, you love a plate of greens now and again. And if they are straight from the vegetable garden, there is nothing better. This is an easy dish to whip up and is fragrant with the garlic and spring onions.

The recipe can be made with just the leaves, or, if you have an abundance of stems, it is also good made with just the chopped stems. But mostly, I mix the two.

Similar dishes include Every Meal some Simple GreensSpinach with Garlic and Lemon, Sweetcorn and Spinach Bhurji, Spinach Stem Salad with Sweet Raisins, and Orzo Pasta with Wilted Spinach.

Browse our Chinese dishes and our Asian recipes. Our Spinach dishes are here. Or browse our Early Spring recipes.

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Sweetcorn and Spinach Bhurji | Corn and Spinach Stirfry

Bhurji are pan-fried Indian vegetable dishes that are not quite dry, but not really wet dishes. They are dry yet damp dishes. The best known Bhurji is made with eggs and is somewhat like scrambled eggs. But we don’t cook with eggs, so the Bhurji that we make are pure vegetarian. They are similar to the Thoran of Kerala and Poriyal of Tamil Nadu. Bhurji is an Andhra dish.

This one is made with greens and sweetcorn, with spices. Spinach and Sweetcorn is a loved combination in India – the sweetness of the corn playing nicely with the spices against the slight bitterness of the spinach. This dish can be served as it is, a perfect side dish to a meal. Or serve it with cumin rice or some roti for a snack. It is also very very good as a filling for Toasties – Indian style toasted sandwiches. Use it as a filling with some cheese and perhaps sliced tomato.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Sweetcorn Sundal, Spinach Thoran, Cabbage Thoran, and Spinach Poriyal. You might also like Baby Sweetcorn and Green Bean Soup.

Browse all of our Thorans and Poriyals. Try our Spinach dishes and our Sweetcorn recipes. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Late Winter dishes.

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Andhra Spinach Chutney | Palakoora Pachadi

Serve with rice and a dollop of ghee

Andhra Pradesh is well known for its chutneys, and for the love that Andhra people have for their chutneys. Called pachadi, the chutneys are not to be confused with the pachadi dishes from Tamil Nadu, which are generally yoghurt based like a raita. An Andhra Pachadi is more like a Tamil Thogayal. I hope that clears the confusion.

Andhra Pachadis are ground vegetables and spices, made to be eaten with rice and a dollop of ghee. But you can use them in sandwiches, stirred into yoghurt, or with snacks, chapatti, idli or dosa.

This is a Spinach Andhra Pachadi, and you have never tasted spinach so delicious. Spicy from red and green chillies, and cooling from the ground sesame seeds, it all comes together into an awesome dish.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Andhra Eggplant Chutney, Spinach Thogayal, Green Chutney, Red Radish Chutney, and Coriander and Coconut Chutney.

You can see our Tamil Pachadi dishes here and here, and our Andhra Pachadi dishes here. Or browse all of our Spinach recipes and our Indian dishes. You might also like to explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Mushroom, Spinach and Blue Cheese Salad

For a change, this is a cooked salad. Mushrooms are sautéed with shallots, and then spinach is wilted in their heat. Blue cheese is added and it softens and melts, forming a dressing for the salad. It is an incredibly delicious salad that can be eaten warm or at room temperature. Use a good quality blue cheese for the best results.

This is another salad from the Bittman Salads, and I am on a journey to make all of the vegetarian ones (and adapt as many of the non-vegetarian ones that I can). Focusing on salads in the warmer weather months has changed my diet considerably, and for the better. I encourage you to make a salad per day – often it can form the basis for your packed lunch (sometimes your whole lunch), or have it as a salad course at dinner time. In this salad, we were fortunate enough to pick the spinach from the garden.

Try some other Salads – for example, Pomegranate Salad with Green Coriander and Lime, Nashi Pear, Celery and Fennel Salad with Mustard Dressing, Grilled Mushroom and Red Onion Salad, and Tomato and Peach Salad.

Are you looking for other Mushroom dishes? Try Mushroom Salad with Parmesan, Adzuki Beans with Red or Brown Rice and Shiitake Mushrooms, Mushroom Curry, or Mushrooms for Toast.

Have a look at our Bittman Salads, and explore all of Salad recipes. Browse all of the Mushroom dishes, or simply take some time to explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Green Salad with Chickpeas, Preserved Lemon and Feta

A beautiful tangy salad with preserved lemons, which pair well with meltingly soft chickpeas. Used either canned or home-cooked chickpeas.

Salads make up an enormous part of our diet fro Spring to Autumn, adding a huge amount of variety and health benefits. It also adds amazing tastes and textures to the food that we eat daily. We recommend it highly. A salad a day keeps illness at bay 🙂 . Focusing on making a salad per day will change your life.

Want to try some similar salads? Try Cauliflower, Papaya and Curried Chickpea Salad, Green Tomato Salsa with Green Coriander and Chilli, and Rocket and Penne Salad.

Are you looking for other Chickpea recipes? Try Chickpeas with Beetroot Greens and Chilli, Chickpea and Carrot Salad with a Curry Dressing, Chickpea, Almond and Sesame Spread, and Channa Chaat.

You can also explore all of our Salads here, or just the Bittman Salads here. Browse our Chickpea dishes. Or simply spend some time checking out our Early Autumn dishes.

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Spinach Stem Salad with Sweet Raisins and Toasted Pine Nuts

The delight of spinach stems in a special salad.

Spinach stems are definitely underrated and underused. They are much less acidic than spinach leaves so they have that distinctive spinach flavor without the harshness. Their taste is delicate, and you miss that if you simply throw the stems away. This salad takes advantage of the beauty of the stems, sweetens them with raisins and adds crunch with pinenuts.

Are you looking for other Spinach and Spinach Stem recipes? Try Buttery Spinach Stems, Glass Noodles with Spinach, Spinach Thoran, and Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach.

Browse our Spinach recipes, and our Salad recipes. Find out how to use Spinach Stems. We have a collection of Bittman Salads here. Or be inspired by our Late Summer recipes.

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Spinach Thoran | Spinach Stirfry with Coconut

A seriously deliciously Thoran from Kerala

Spinach Thoran is an everyday side dish for rice which is generally cooked in an Indian wok or Kadhai. In this style of Thoran from Kerala, the main ingredient is stirfried or wilted, then pushed aside while a coconut and spice paste is placed in the centre of the wok. This is covered by the main ingredient and it is allowed to cook gently. This method leads to dishes that are light and delicious.

In this recipe a little rice is used as a spice adding a little texture and a lovely nutty flavour.

If you are looking for a Spinach-Coconut dish, try this Spinach and Coconut – Keerai Poriyal from Tamil Nadu which is next door to Kerala. Another way to use Spinach is in a simple Aloo Palak Subzi – Potatoes and Spinach Dry Curry.

Thorans can be made from almost any vegetable. Cabbage, for example, or Green Beans, Carrot, or Zucchini. Try Green Tomato Bhajji. You might also like Cauliflower Fry with Ginger, Garlic and Green Chillies.

You might like to browse all of our Thoran and Poriyal recipes here and here, other Fry recipes, and our Spinach recipes here and here. Browse all of our Indian recipes here and here. Find inspiration in our Autumn dishes here and here.

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Buttery Spinach Stems

The intensity of Spinach without the bite.

Did you know that Spinach stems are edible, in fact, wonderful? With all of the spinach flavour of the leaves but without the bite, they are a delight to eat.

My favourite way, which I share with you today, is Buttery Spinach Stems where they are quickly sautéed  before steaming a little and serving with their buttery sauce.

Feel free to browse all of our Spinach recipes here and here. We really like an Indian Stir Fried Spinach Poriyal with Coconut.  Or find inspiration in our Winter recipes here and here.

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