Spiced Spinach

Tenkei loves cooked spinach so when we serve curried lentils as a main dish, I like to serve this instead of a green leafy salad. I vaguely remember that when we used to dine out at the local Indian restaurant in the 1980’s green leafy salad was not on the menu. If someone asked for one they would serve a few leaves of iceberg lettuce with a couple of slices of tomato and onion, some slivers of bell pepper and cucumber, and a smattering of green peas. I even doubt that it came with salad dressing. However, this does not mean there are no salads in India! There are great many wonderful salads, just not of the green leafy type, and they had yet to make it to the local restaurants menu. But this may explain why, on curry days, I often skip the salad and cook spinach instead. And no one is complaining 🙂


450 g frozen chopped spinach
100 g garden peas

1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
½ teaspoon whole coriander seeds
½ teaspoon chili flakes, or to taste
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste


  • Put the frozen spinach in a bowl and leave to thaw.
  • Coarse grind the coriander seeds using a pestle and mortar.
  • Peel and press the garlic through a garlic press.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan on medium flame. Add the mustard and coriander seeds, stir to coat with oil, then cover with a lid until the mustard seeds stop popping and are fragrant. Lift the lid and stir in the garlic and chili flakes. Let the garlic and chili flakes fry for thirty seconds before removing the frying pan from the flame. Set aside.
  • Put the spinach and green peas into a heavy bottomed pan and heat on a medium flame. When the spinach has heated through, stir in the mustard seeds, coriander seeds, chili flakes, and garlic.
  • Season to taste with salt.

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