Monday, December 21, 2009

Spinach with Kidney beans but this is no Palak Paneer

After the snow finally stopped around 10PM on Saturday, we had anywhere from 18-24 inches of snow in the area. Officially this was not a blizzard because there was no wind blowing at 35mph. The fun is watching the snow fall as long as there is no need to go anywhere, but reality sets in once the snow stops falling. We have to dig ourselves out of the snow and hope the roads are clean enough to get to work. Luckily it was a Sunday otherwise the cleanup would have been a mess. To the credit of our local government the roads were cleaned up and ready for us to go shopping once we cleaned up the driveway to get the cars out. DD wanted to get presents for her teachers and friends and the rest of us were ready for contact with the outside world. Just a day of being snowed in can bring on that feeling.

We fortified ourselves with Poori Masala and the driveway was clean in 2 hours or so, while DH did the bulk of the heavy lifting. I tend to not deep fry during the winter months because of the fumes clinging on to everything and staying around for a long time. The trick is, once the oil has become hot, to keep the temperature at medium so the oil does not smoke. If that does not work mix distilled white vinegar with water in the ratio of 1:2 and let it boil on the stove for 15-30 minutes, that usually takes care of all the smells.

I have never been a member of the Palak Paneer love brigade. I am not particularly fond of paneer and tasted palak paneer in a restaurant in a buffet only after coming here. Not very appealing. Malai kofta, paneer based was an exception, it was always a big time favorite. But every other person who talked about Indian food always wanted the recipe for palak paneer. In my unofficial survey every non-Indian, Indian food lover loves palak paneer. I have come to realize that the restaurant style palak paneer slathered in fat and cream is an exception rather than the rule and Anita confirms the fact. I have always liked mashed up greens, so cooking the greens without all the additives, mashing it and adding beans, potatoes or even paneer makes it appealing but simple.

This will be a entry for MLLA-18 hosted over at Cooking 4 all Seasons by Srivalli. This event featuring one of my favorite ingredients was started by Susan who blogs at The Well Seasoned Cook.

Spinach with Kidney Beans
1. 1 cup of red kidney beans soaked and cooked till soft (not mushy)
2. 1/2 onion chopped 1/2 cup
3. 4 Cups of fresh spinach
4. 3 garlic cloves chopped
5. 6-8 green chilies slit
6. 1/2 inch ginger grated
7. seasonings: curry leaves and cumin seeds
8. 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp pepper powder, 2 tsp red chili powder
1. In a heavy bottomed pan, add oil when hot add the seasonings.
2. Add the chopped onions and slit green chilies and saute till the onions are soft.
3. Add the ginger and garlic and saute for a few more minutes. Add salt and the powders followed by the spinach leaves.
4. Let cook for 6-8 minutes till the leaves have wilted.
5. Mash the leaves with the back of the spoon or with a hand blender.
6. Add the cooked red beans and let simmer for 3-4 minutes.


  1. It must be a winter wonderland with all that snow -- the first ride after digging out is always a little magical :)

    Spinach with kidney beans looks great!

  2. Such a healthy dish...wonderful Indo..

  3. I like mixing greens and beans, like the combo looks very tasty.

  4. We had an amazing 65F here in the afternoon today :-)
    Great tip about vinegar and water to get rid of the odor. i will keep that in mind.
    also loved the combination of spinach and Kidney beans.

  5. Lot of snow indeed. Never seen so much snow except on the mountain passes.
    I like the palak paneer but started making them with tofu instead. Should try your recipe too with the beans.

  6. Cold winter days call for the fortification of beans! That is an interesting combination there - I bet it was good!
    Stay warm!

  7. Love the spinach rajma combo!

  8. i like<paneer but not with palak. this dish reminds me of my hostel life. in winter every other day they used to serve us palak makkai.

  9. Indo, Thanks a million for that tip of vinegar and water. I really needed that one in this closed apartment!

    I'm not fond of palak paneer as well and most restaurants make it sweet with sugar. I love the combo of beans and greens.

    I don't understand whats going on around here... but we have had very minimal snow until now. Not that I'm complaining. Last year, we had two snowstorms before November ended. So, this puzzles me.

  10. Spinach with kidney beans sounds delicious ! I avoid frying at home too, that is a nice tip about vinegar, will keep it in mind the next time I have guests and need to fry something :-)

  11. this is a new combo for me. looks delicious

  12. When I hear of the amount of snow, it makes me glad that I live in the Caribbean...

    I've bookmarked this recipe and will probably make it next week for my vegan dinner guests. Actually, looking at it reminds of the the Parsi dish of Quormeh Sabzi - herbs, goat or mutton with kidneys beans all cooked in a stew.

  13. That is a terrific idea and healthy too!

  14. What an unusual combination - will try it.And I agree - even the restaurants here have stopped serving creamy oil drenched paalak paneer for the most part - who wants to eat mashed up baby food!

  15. Spinach n kidney beans looks great...a perfect healthy dish.Thanks for the easy recipe:)

  16. Dear Indhu Happy Holidays & Happy New year to you and your loved ones & family.

    me busy :-) Missed a few of your posts...

  17. I love Palak Paneer, no cream though, thank you

    Palak with beans is good idea, i add palak to all my dals anyway, easy way to get greens in


  18. Am with you on that palak paneer thing ... can never love it .. but do make it. That is a great tip. :-)
    Merry Christams and a very happy New Year to you and your family ISG! :-)

  19. I love palak paneer but this variation with rajma sounds just as tempting.

  20. Thanks for sending this indo, looks great!


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