I have been traveling back to back so much that now I want to be home for some time. It doesn't mean I don't love traveling but the food becomes a bit too overwhelming. Even if I choose the right food I don't find enough fresh greens in my food whenever traveling for some reason. But to tell you the truth, much of it is psychological as I love the simpler home cooked food much more comforting for my system.
Earlier I was in Banaras tasting all the wonderful food both home cooked at our parents' homes as well as the street food. We did a street food trail of Banaras this time to trace the connection between royal cuisine of banaras and the street food. Then I went back to work at Te Aroha, training the chefs, fine tuning the menu and creating recipe cards etc. It was an action packed week there as well. Food in such times become overwhelming when you have to taste 7 types of breakfasts 5 types of lunch and so on. I used to end up having boiled vegetables or khichdi at the end of the day sometimes.
Coming back home I was so glad to see my patch of spinach in the garden greeting me with green abundance. There are a few coriander plants flowering in the patch and Nasturtiums have started making inroads into it too, but spinach is happy with this coexistence. Few Solanum nigrum (black nightshade) plants have come up too and will be used later for cooking.
All I could think of was a plain runny khichdi with spinach once again. Yes this khichdi with spinach is a favourite and I even included this khichdi in the all day menu of Te Aroha. I am revamping the whole menu at Te Aroha, training the chefs and making recipe cards for the kitchen. During trials of the all day menu this spinach khichdi became an instant hit and there were requests to share the recipe. So this post is intended to share it with those who wanted that spinach khichdi recipe too.
Note that this khichdi is made with blanched spinach (dipped in boiling water for a minute and drained immediately to retain colour) which is minced finely after getting cold. I preserve all my surplus spinach this way as it becomes smaller in bulk to be refrigerated or frozen.
Spinach khichdi recipe...
(for 2 servings)
mung daal (split mung skinned) 2 tbsp
masoor daal (skinned red lentils) 2 tbsp
short grained rice 2 tbsp
blanched and minced spinach 1.5 cups
water 3 cups
salt to taste
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
minced garlic cloves 1 tsp
hing (asafoetida) 1 pinch
dry red chillies 3-4 broken
ghee 1 tbsp
cumin seeds 1 tsp
Cook the washed and rinsed lentils and rice together with 3 cups of water, salt and turmeric till done. I pressure cook this mix till the pressure builds up and the whistle blows. The lentils should get cooked and mushy at the end of this. It will be cooked a little more after spinach being added.
Heat ghee in a pan (iron kadhai in my case) and tip in the hing and cumin seeds followed by the broken red chillies and tejpatta, keeping the pan away for flame for a while to prevent burning of the meager spices. Let these get aromatic before you add the minced spinach and stir fry it for a minute or so.
Pour in the cooked lentil and rice mix and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes or till everything gets homogenized. You may want to add a bit more water to adjust consistency of the khichdi as required. Adjust seasoning and serve hot with your choice of khichdi accompaniments. Be it pickles, bharta, potato fries, papad, dahi or raita.
We enjoyed it with a few fried potato wedges and roasted papad, washed it down with fresh buttermilk.
And there is more spinach in the garden. Will be back with more of the garden gems really soon. There is some more travel, more work to be finished but yes I am cooking my meals and all those recipes will be shared here ultimately. Despite short breaks in between.