Monday, January 23, 2012

Spinach with Garlic and Raisins

I am always looking for new and easy vegetable side dishes.  This fits the bill.  It takes less than 10 minutes to make, is super healthy, and is absolutely delicious.  I don't know if it is a tradition Indian recipe, but the Betty Crocker Easy Indian cookbook features it (I don't know why the pic says 'everyday'.)  The raisins are the perfect sweet touch to the earthy and slightly bitter spinach.

I guess I should talk about this book for a second.  I got it in the bargain section of Barns and Noble for my husband as a Christmas present.  We love Indian food, and I thought that I would at least be able to get some ideas from the book.  And because he wants to learn to cook a wider variety of things, I wanted a book that wasn't technically intimidating.  I didn't expect it to be a great cookbook or anything, but it has surpassed my reserved expectations.  The recipes are really easy and most of the ingredients are readily available in your local supermarket.  For the  less common items, there is a buying guide with several websites listed, just in case you want to expand your spice cabinet and pantry.  For anyone looking to venture into Indian cooking at home, I definitely recommend this cookbook.

Spinach w/ Garlic and Raisins
1/2 med red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 lrg cloves garlic, minced (2 lrg tsp)
1/4 C golden raisins
10-12 oz spinach, roughly chopped
1 scant tsp garam masala*
salt and oil

   Heat about 2 tsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over med heat.  Saute onion and pepper for about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and raisins, cook about 1 mintue.
   Add spinach and a pinch of salt.  Allow spinach to wilt.
   Sprinkle with garam masala, toss.  Adjust salt to taste.
   Serves 4.

*If, like me, you don't have garam masala when making this, but have a bevy of other spices, substitute with 1/4 tsp cardamom, 1/4 tsp coriander, 1/4 tsp cumin, and a pinch of cinnamon.

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