Chole Palak – Garbanzos with spinach; rice; pitas – 20 May 2013

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An online friend suggested this recipe, and it sounded good so I had to try it. It’s really easy except for getting the spinach clean, and D pointed out that since you’re cooking the spinach down pretty seriously anyway, you could easily substitute frozen. If you were to substitute canned tomatoes for fresh, and powdered ginger for fresh, this would become a “pantry meal” – something that was always there in your kitchen. I think it would probably work.

The recipe is from Manjula’s Kitchen – here is a delightful 5 minute video explaining the dish. Quick version: you make a puree of tomatoes, a green chile (I used a jalapeno, stemmed and seeded) and ginger, cook some spices in oil and add the puree, cook, add a bunch of chopped spinach and more spices, cook, add a can of garbanzos and salt, cook, and end with garam masala. Once the cooking starts, the dish takes only about 15 minutes.

Both D and I thought the dish rather bland, and when I was making it it seemed odd how small the amounts of spices were, so I think I will up some of those amounts next time. I think it’s worth tweaking, b/c it’s so easy and full of wonderful ingredients that are mega good for you.

We also ate one more of the pitas from yesterday, but it wasn’t really necessary. I made some basmati rice to serve the chole palak over, but the recommendation was for Naan or Roti (which I have not made before, so I didn’t).

D chose a wine recommended for Thai food at Berkeley Bowl: a chenin blanc called Anjou (“Le Haut Vignot”) 2011. I didn’t think it was a perfect match, but I believe it would be so with Thai food. At only 11% alcohol, it’s definitely a must-have for our cellar.

 

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