Like most children, I hated spinach. And my mother didn't have the Popeye cartoon series to try and convince me of the benefits of this lush leafy vegetable. Now that I am nearing 30 and becoming paranoid about nutrition, calcium (I've seen mom suffering from osteoporosis), fertility (I intend on having a child in the next 5 years) and the like, I have upped my fruit, milk, and green vegetable intake considerably.
Which brings me to today's recipe, Garlic Spinach. The way Bengali's treat Spinach - and as a matter of fact, all greens - is markedly different from the way most of North India treats it. We prefer to maintain its color and shape, and in the end of most of our spinach recipes, you can still make out the individual leaves, whereas the Punjabi way of making the heady Palak Paneer is to convert it all to a green sludge. (Incidentally, my archives have a recipe of making Palak Paneer, which also explains the 'green sludge' coinage.)
Garlic Spinach is an extremely simple recipe, and very easy to make. There are no masalas, and the palak retains its original shape and texture. And it obviously tastes like magic, otherwise I wouldn't be making it so often!
Spinach - Two bunches, chopped.
Garlic - 8-9 cloves, chopped finely.
Dried red chillies - 3.
Green chillies - 4-5, chopped.
Turmeric powder - a pinch.
Oil for frying.
Salt to taste (Remember that spinach decreases to about one-thirds the original proportion when cooked so go easy on the salt.)
Heat oil in a wok and add the dried red chillies to it. Add the finely chopped garlic and a pinch of turmeric. Add chillies and stir till the garlic is mildly fried. Add spinach and toss so that the entire spinach gets round the garlic and oil. Add salt. Keep frying until the spinach is cooked. Serve hot with rice.