Spinach cooked with vegetables or meat is a common combination - however, here we are being careful to barely cook the spinach so it remains bright and flavorful.
makes ~4 cups
4 Tbsp EVOO
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp of fenugreek seeds
2 cup red onion, minced
3 cups of butternut squash peeled and chopped into 1 ½ inch pieces
1 Tbsp ginger purée
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cracked coriander seeds
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup of canned ground tomatoes
1 large bunch of fresh spinach (about 6 cups of chopped spinach)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
- In a heavy bottom stockpot, heat up olive oil and pop the mustard and fenugreek seeds. Add the minced red onions and cook on high to medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until slightly translucent. Add the butternut squash, ginger purée, turmeric, cracked coriander seeds, salt and black pepper. Cover the pot, lower the heat to simmer for 7-8 minutes. If the squash is not cooked through add a bit of water.
- Add the chili powder and ground tomatoes and bring the curry to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer the curry for another 5-10 minutes or until the squash is tender. The sauce with the tomatoes should now be thick - if not, cook with the lid off on high heat until some of the liquid is absorbed.
- Trim the bottom inch of the spinach bunch and wash the stems and leaves thoroughly. Dry the leaves or drain in a colander and chop finely and add to the squash curry. Turn the heat up and cover the curry to just allow the spinach leaves to wilt.
- Turn the heat off and add the ground cinnamon and serve.
When buying fresh spinach, especially if bought from a local farmers market, it can often be very sandy or just covered in dirt. A good way to clean it is to rinse the leaves 2-3 times in a sink full of cold water. The dirt or sand will sink the to bottom as you lift the clean leaves out.
ideas / variations
- Replace butternut squash with sweet potato, regular potato, chayote squash or any other root vegetable.
- Use a cumin seed pop instead of mustard seeds.
- Instead of spinach, mix in 1-2 bunches of watercress or one bunch of mustard greens or kale.
- Replace cinnamon with 1 tsp of ground cardamom, nutmeg or mace or with ½ tsp of ground cloves or star anise.
- To replace canned tomatoes with fresh, just double the quantity. The proportions are 1:2 for canned to fresh tomatoes.