Winters are here and though we live in the concrete jungle, every year my family try to grow some of the winter greens and vegetables in our little abode. This year, we tried some early sowing of spinach, fenugreek, radish and lai xaak. To our happiness, the greens are grown pretty quickly and since then, they have been a steady part of our diet. But if you ask which tender green we enjoy the most is the spinach.
As soon as our spinach is ready to be plucked, we have been eating it like starved people. It is one of our favourite green and we do enjoy it in every form. Today, I am offering two family favourite recipes of spinach with you all. But before going to them, let us know the culinary history of spinach and how these tender greens reached India.
Culinary History of Spinach
Spinach is a native of the Ancient Persia from where it was introduced in India and China by the Arab and Nepalese visitors in AD 647. Its invasion of the other parts of the world began when it was introduced in Sicily by the Saracens in 827.
The earliest written evidence of spinach and its usage was found from the 10th century in the Mediterranean. The most prominent works are the medical work by al-Razi (known as Rhazes in the West) and in two agricultural treatises, one by Ibn Waḥshīyah and the other by Qusṭus al-Rumi.
It was introduced in Germany, France and England in the 13-14th century where it was used for medical purposes. It gained its popularity due to its adaptation to the wintery climate and universal appeal. In a 1390 English cookbook, spinach was referred as the ‘spinnedge’ and a food during other dietary restrictions are there.
Iron Rich Assamese Recipes
Spinach can be consumed in different forms. It can be used in soups, salads, curry, fries and a seasoning. You can use it in whatever way you want, it still retains its properties of iron, vitamins and other minerals. Here is the two recipes we enjoy.
Mashed Potato with Spinach
A very easy recipe. The ingredients are also simple and easily available. The best thing about the recipe is here, spinach is used in the raw form and hence very healthy. Here is the recipe
- Boiled Potato
- Tender spinach
- Sliced onions
- Green chillies
- salt and mustard oil
- Mix everything and mash together.
- Adjust the salt and serve
The other recipe is a non-vegetarian recipe which is another good source of iron and other minerals. This recipe is cooked with fish which is rich in iron and when cooked with spinach, it helps to get a good dose of iron in our diet.
Fish and Spinach Curry
- Spinach- cleaned and cut.
- Fried fish
- Mustard oil, turmeric powder and salt
- Fenugreek seeds
- Heat the oil and temper with fenugreek seeds.
- Put the spinach and fry for one minute.
- Add the water and fish, salt and turmeric.
- Boil and as it reach the desired consistency, swith off the gas,