Sunday, March 16, 2008

Spinach Raita with Toasted Cumin

adapted from from 5 Spices, 50 Dishes by Ruta Kahate

Mr. K got this great cookbook a while back and we have made some very good dishes from it. I'd recommend it as another great cookbook offering simple recipes bursting with flavor. This makes the best raita ever!

He also though that the dish needed some color and suggested paprika, so I opened up this amazing smoked Spanish Paprika which added a delicious smoky depth to the bright clean flavors of the raita. It was like no paprika I had ever smelled or tasted before.


4 ounces baby spinach or 5 ounces frozen spinach
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup plain whole or low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons minced red onion
3/4 to 1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp finely grated fresh ginger (about 1/2 inch piece)


Rinse the spinach and place in a saucepan with the water still clinging to the leaves. Cover and steam the leaves until tender but still bright green. Place in a strainer to cool and drain. If using frozen spinach, place in a saucepan with 1/4 cup water and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Drain and I did not really cool the spinach much because I wanted it to heat up the raw onion in the yogurt and blend in better.

Toast the cumin seeds in a small skillet over low heat until they turn dark and fragrant. Cool and grind them.

In a small bowl, stir the yogurt together with the onion, salt, ginger and the ground cumin.

Squeeze the spinach to remove excess water and finely chop it. Add this to the yogurt mixture and stir thoroughly. Chill until ready to serve.

Try it as a dip for crudite or as a condiment on grilled meats or curry.

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