To intensify the simple seasonings, Martha's friend Madhur Jaffrey first fries the fennel and cumin seeds in oil -- a method known as "tarka," which coaxes more flavor out of the spices by heating them. The spicy spinach is delicious with chicken, lamb, beef, or rice.



Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oil and butter in a large saute pan set over medium-high heat. When hot, add fennel and black cumin seeds. Stir, and add onions and ginger. Stir-fry until onions turn a rich brown color, 5 to 7 minutes.

  • Add spinach. Cover pan, and cook until spinach has wilted completely, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. When spinach has wilted, reduce the heat to medium. Add chile, salt, and cayenne pepper, and stir. Cover pan, and cook for 25 minutes more.

  • Uncover skillet, and stir. Cook until there is hardly any liquid left in the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes more. Serve.

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Do you really mean 3 POUNDS of spinach?! Whatever you say Martha, only the Indian meal I served was in name only as the lovely spices used were lost in the 3 POUNDS of spinach. ( If I used my own instincts I would have used three BUNCHES of spinach and had a more exciting dish. . . . Oh well, next time.)