Spinach with Chickpeas

This spicy dish from cookbook writer Madhur Jaffrey uses seasonings typical of Punjab in northwest India.

Spinach with Chickpeas
This spicy dish from cookbook writer Madhur Jaffrey uses seasonings typical of Punjab in northwest India.
Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 12 lb. fresh spinach (to yield 1 1/4 lbs. trimmed)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 yellow onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 (3'') piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 7 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 34 tsp. ground cumin
  • 12 tsp. ground coriander
  • 14 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 (28-oz.) can tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cloves cooked chickpeas with 1 cup cooking liquid
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 fresh serrano chile, minced

Instructions

  1. Trim spinach and wash in several changes of water. Blanch in a large pot of boiling salted water over medium-high heat for 2 minutes; drain in a colander and cool under cold running water. Squeeze out excess water and roughly chop.
  2. Heat butter and oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add all but 2 tbsp. of onions and cook until brown, about 25 minutes.
  3. Roughly chop 2'' of ginger. Purée with garlic and 12 cup water in a blender or food processor, then add to onions and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in turmeric, cumin, coriander, and cayenne. Reduce heat to low, add tomatoes (break up with the back of a spoon), spinach, and chickpeas with their cooking liquid. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Add water as needed.
  4. Finely mince reserved onions and ginger; mix with lemon juice and serrano chile in a small bowl. Just before serving, stir sauce into spinach mixture. Adjust seasoning. Serve hot.