June 21, 2012

Koraisuti palak (Spinach with green peas)

The fresh market now looks like a celebration. All the fresh vegetables and fruits are so inviting. I always buy more than I planned to. Most of the year, peas come in cans or from the frozen section. One of my best childhood memories is shelling peas in the winter mornings, and popping a few in my mouth while doing so. Like little green pearls they were, and I completely indulged in their fleshy sweetness. Therefore, when I saw the fresh peas on the market stands, I couldn’t resist to buy. Bengal, with so many rivers crisscrossing it and ponds dotting it, gave leafy vegetables a very prominent place in its cuisine. Everyday staple food consists of at least a leafy vegetable item. I do not get most of the greens in Slovenia, and therefore often buy spinach instead. This time I just wished to celebrate the fresh peas with the spinach. Most Bengali vegetarian dishes use very little spices and let the vegetables retain their own flavors and form a subtle delicacy. This dish was no different. A bit of cumin seeds and ghee, and that was pretty much it. While eating it with steaming hot rice, one can easily reach the winter lunches and chatter in a Bengali household.

You can print the recipe for your kitchen here: PRINTABLE RECIPE
(Serves 2)

300g spinach
1/2cup green peas
1sp cumin seeds
Ghee, salt


1.      Tear the spinach leaves and soft stems. Wash well and drain.
2.      In a wok, heat 1tbsp ghee. Add the cumin seeds and let crackle.
3.      Add the spinach leaves and green peas. Add salt.
4.      Cook covered on medium heat until the leaves wilt and start leaving moisture.
5.      Remove cover. Cook until the moisture almost dries (5-8 minutes)
6.      Garnish with ghee. Serve with steaming rice.

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