Indian creamed spinach, also known as malai palak, calls for spinach, onions, cumin seeds, garlic, ginger, chiles, turmeric, and cream. The recipe, from the renowned restaurant Rasika, is a quick weeknight winner of a dinner.
Like creamed spinach? Then you’ve got to try this Indian version known as malai palak. It’s a recipe for a simple side dish made from spinach, garlic, onion, cream, and spices. It’s rich enough to taste almost indecently indulgent so chances are you won’t have trouble convincing your family to take second helpings.–Angie Zoobkoff
Indian Creamed Spinach
- Quick Glance
- 50 M
- 1 H
- Serves 4 to 6
- 1 pound baby spinach
- 1/4 cup mild vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
- 2 1/2 cups finely chopped yellow onions (10 oz)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh Thai green chili or jalapeno
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon finely ground dried fenugreek leaves
- 1. Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add half the spinach to the boiling water, stirring well until it wilts, about 15 seconds. Using a spider strainer or mesh spoon, transfer the spinach to the ice water and repeat the blanching process with the remaining the spinach.
- 2. Drain the spinach well and transfer it to a blender. Add 1 cup water and blend into a fine, bright green puree.
- 3. In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, warm the oil until it shimmers. Add the cumin seeds and garlic and sizzle until the garlic browns, about 30 seconds. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but not browned, about 8 minutes. (The garlic will make the onions look browner than they really are.)
- 4. Stir in the ginger, green chili, and turmeric and cook for 30 seconds. Add the spinach puree and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Be careful; it will sputter like bubbling lava.
- 5. Reduce the heat to medium and add the cream, salt, and fenugreek leaf powder. Return to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Serve hot.
Variation on Malai Palak
- To make palak paneer, simply add 2 cups cubed paneer (a 12-ounce package) along with the cream, salt, and fenugreek leaf powder in step 5.
- To make aloo palak, simply add 2 cups cooked potatoes cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) cubes along with the cream, salt, and fenugreek leaf powder in step 5.