Friday, 24 January 2014

Catalan Spinach

One reason why Popeye was one of my favourite cartoon characters was…well spinach. Yes spinach is by far, my favourite vegetable. I crave spinach all year long and come winter I eat spinach every day, well almost. I like it best chopped fine and stir fried in mustard oil, with a little mustard seeds for tempering. It’s a winter staple at my place and I end up having double my usual rice serving. It is usually not a pleasant scene on those rare days when palong shaak bhaja goes missing from the menu. Sometimes, I like it with a generous sprinkling of posto (khus khus). Another delicious dish made in Bengali homes is palong shaker ghonto, a mixed vegetable dish of sorts with spinach playing the protagonist complemented by the liked of potatoes, radish, pumpkin etc. But I am partial towards the simple palong shaak bhaja.
It goes without saying that spinach enjoys a glory spot in Indian cuisine, but today I thought of sharing something different, something from another country and since my Spanish fever is still on, I am sharing a simple and delicious dish from Spain Catalonia region — Catalan spinach. 
Last Sunday, at our Spanish pop up event, while we were busy with our Serrano ham and chorizo and prawns and squid, our hostess for the day, Ria (the friend who was kind enough to lend us her home to turn it into a restaurant for a day), tossed up a beautiful vegetarian dish for a friend who had decided to drop in last minute and he was a vegetarian. And though I was busy making my pan con jamon, my eyes wandered off to her stove top quite a few times because she was making something with…well spinach.
There was olive oil, garlic, raisins, pine nuts and spinach and I knew this was going to be a hit. Catalan Spinach is what she was making and that’s the recipe I’ll share today. The recipe is authentic but with my signature twist.   Now I like to play with textures and that's what I have done. For instance, I have used munakka instead of regular raisins and dollop of butter to romance the olive oil and finally a final addition, to add some more scrunch to the dish, croutons.

By the way, this post is especially for those of you who have asked me to post some vegetarian dishes. In fact, I am sorry that I have not posted too many vegetarian dishes in these months but I promise to balance it out now on. Hope you guys enjoy this dish.


Spinach leaves - 30-35
Chopped garlic - 1 tbsp
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Butter - 1/2 tbsp
Munakka or regular raisins - a handful
Pine nuts - a handful
Salt to taste
Sugar- a pinch
Croutons  (deep fried bred cubes)



 Blanch the spinach leaves in boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes. Drain well and keep aside.
Heat olive oil and butter together and add chopped garlic. 
Once the garlic turns golden add the raisins/munakka and pine nuts and saute for a minute. 
Finally add the spinach and stir fry for a few minutes. Add salt to taste and a pinch of sugar. 
Garnish with croutons and serve.  


  1. this sounds delicious! i am loving your recipes! they are easy, sophisticated and clean..definitely following via bloglovin

    1. Thanks a ton. So glad you like them!!! Keep reading :)