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Spinach Cooked in a Bihari Style

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Indian Vegetables Vegetarian


  • 1 1/2 lb Fresh spinach washed and trimmed
  • 1/2 ts Freshly grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Garlic clove; mashed
  • 1/2 ts Minced fresh hot green chili (very finely minced)
  • 1/2 ts Salt
  • 2 tb Very finely minced cilantro
  • 2 tb Mustard oil


This dish, traditionally made with mixed greens such as spinach and mustard, resembles an Italian pesto, though it is much thicker in consistency. In place of olive oil, mustard oil is used, and apart from the taste of the greens themselves, the other strong flavors include raw garlic, raw ginger, green chilis, and cilantro. If you can't obtain the pungent golden mustard oil which is called for in this recipe (available in Chinese as well as Indian groceries), steep 1/2 teaspoon powdered dried mustard in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
In Northern India, this dish is eaten at room temperature for breakfast, along with fried bread and tea. While raw garlic may seem alarming first thing in the morning, Indians consider it a medicinal necessity, and many swallow a crushed clove every day.
DIRECTIONS: ========== Bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add spinach and cook on high heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until wilted. Drain, rinse under cold water, and squeeze out as much liquid as you can easily.
Put spinach in food processor or blender with 2 tablespoons water and blend until smooth. This will result in a fairly thick paste. Put in a serving bowl.
Whisk together ginger, garlic, green chili, salt, cilantro, and oil. Pour this dressing over the spinach and mix thoroughly.
Source: (C) 1981 Madhur Jaffrey The Herb Companion - February/March 1993 Typed for you by Karen Mintzias