Monday, September 29, 2014

Creamy Corn &Spinach




"My mother's menu consisted of two choices........................Take it or Leave it!
(~Buddy Hackett)



That was so true of my mother when it came to spinach and aubergines, both of which I found terribly hard to swallow! It was an exasperating situation for both of us. She went to great pains to cook my meals separately from the rest of the family's meals, so that the spices, heat factor etc were all according to my taste. I was the only child who got this royal treatment. So it must have been trying for her when I opted for "leave it." For me it was tiring to keep explaining to her, in all seriousness, that I didn't want to waste food, it was just that it was alright as long as I kept chewing on the spinach or aubergines, but any attempt to swallow the thing would make me puke! Trust me she tried, and I tried but nothing worked. Not even Daddy's loving cajoling and telling me how the iron in spinach was good for my health. I would be left sitting at the dining table for hours without putting a morsel in my mouth. Not even the "no dessert" (and she'd make my favorites) punishment worked. Years later everything fell into place including spinach and aubergines...I love both.

The spinach iron(y) at the present time is: I cannot eat it as per doctor's orders! How's that! Now to come back to one of my favorite spinach dishes - #Creamycorn&spinach.


Ingredients

Spinach..........................................1 big bunch, to make one heaped standard measuring cup of puree
Onion.............................................1, chopped small
Garlic............................................6-7, minced or chopped into teeny-weeny bits
Ginger...........................................1/2" grated fine, or ground with the garlic in a mortar
Tomato..........................................1 medium, grated or chopped very small
Cumin seeds..................................1/2 tsp
Green chilli..................................1, or acc to taste, deseeded, chopped very fine
Turmeric......................................a pinch
Coriander....................................1n1/2 tsp
Garam masala.............................1/2 tsp
Corn kernals...............................1/2 cup, or little less
Cream.........................................8 tbsps
Milk.............................................4 tbsps
EVOO.........................................2-3 tbsps
Salt to taste

For the tempering

Onion.......................................3-4 tbsps, chopped onion
Whole red chilli (dry)..............3-4, small ones or 2 big
Garlic......................................2 cloves, chopped
Ghee.......................................5-6 tbsps
EVOO.....................................2 tbsps




First, pick the spinach leaves leaving mature stems out and wash them thoroughly.
Boil water in a pan. When boiling, add the spinach.
Boil for a minute + 10 seconds. Drain out water.
Add the chopped green chilli.
Puree in a mixer, without adding any liquid. What little remains in the spinach will suffice.
The puree should be thick.
Keep aside.

Heat the EVOO, (extra virgin olive oil) in a non-stick saucepan.
Drop in the cumin seeds. Stir around, do not allow to burn. Cumin tastes best when not burned black.
Add the chopped onions, garlic and ginger. Cook until they just about start to turn brown.
Add the tomatoes. Add salt to coax out the juices of the tomato. Lower to minimum, cover and simmer for 1/2 a minute. Uncover and stir the mixture about. Mash the tomatoes with the back of the spoon.
Now put in the coriander, turmeric, and 1/4 tsp of garam masala. Save 1/4 for later.
Raise heat to medium. Stir briskly to amalgamate the spices with the onion mixture.
Time to put in the corn kernals. Mix well into spice masala.
Add 4 tbsps milk, lower heat to minimum, cover and allow to cook. Keep an eye on it.Give it a stir from time to time. 
When the milk is absorbed, and a thick sort of gravy remains, add about 3 Tbsps of water and cover and cook further, until the water is absorbed.


Time to add the pureed spinach. Mix well to make a meld of the puree and onion masala. It will be a thick mass.
When that's done add a wee bit of water to loosen the spinach. Say about 6-7 tbsps. Mix again.
Lower heat, cover and allow to simmer for about 30 seconds.
Add the 8 tbsps of cream, and stir in. Keep on low heat.



When the cream is incorporated, remove from the stove.
Time for tempering. Heat the EVOO and ghee in a small pan. Lower heat. 
Add the red chilli, give them a quick turn, and add the onions, garlic.
Raise heat to medium. Keep stirring from time to time. When the onions turn brown at the edges, add the 1/4 tsp garam masala and dunk it into the spinach.


Your Creamy Corn & Spinach is ready to be devoured! Serve hot with an added dollop of butter (purely optional) and makki ki roti/ missi roti/ or plain chappattis. 

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