Like a lot of organic gardeners in the sub-tropics, my patch can be fairly bare of leafy greens in mid summer when temperatures and rainfall are high. So this year I thought I would give Ceylon Spinach a try (some call it Malabar Spinach). It grew like a triffid, providing me with copious amounts of greens, only problem is, every way I tried to prepare the veg turned out to be slimey... I just didn't find it palatable at all.
Determined to relieve my dissapointment, I set mey fab foodie friend Julie Ray the task of coming up with some creative recipes to enjoy Ceylon Spinach. As usual, she came up with some fantastic ideas, one being a yummy dahl (below). If you have some good ideas of your own, why not share them or comment below.
Coconut Dahl with Ceylon Spinach
You can use all the Ceylon Spinach plant in this recipe, from the stems to the leaves.
- 200g red lentils, washed
- 4 large slices ginger slices
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 10 curry leaves
- 200mls coconut cream
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 brown onion, sliced
- 4 stems of Ceylon spinach stems, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1 cup Ceylon spinach leaves, finely chopped
- Fried garlic to serve
Place the lentils into a medium sized saucepan with ginger, tumeric, salt and curry leaves and cover with 3 cups water.
Bring to the boil and simmer, uncovered for 40 minutes or until the lentils have broken down and the mixture has reduced and thickened quite considerably.
Add the coconut cream and leave to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes or until it has thickened once more.
Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, heat the oil on a medium-high heat and cook the onion for a few minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook the onions for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and the Garam Masala stir to coat the spices with the onion and cook for a further 5 minutes.
When the Dahl is cooked add the onion mixture and the Ceylon spinach and stir to combine. Place into a serving bowl an top with fried garlic.
Note: (fried garlic can be found in the Asian sections of supermarkets).
First published: March 2011