Pachadis are lightly cooked South Indian salads, often involving yogurt. This was my grandmother's recipe, and it remains a feature of my core repertoire because it's so simple and unusual at the same time. This recipe is part of our menu for Sadhya, a South Indian feast.
- 3 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1/2 small onion, chopped
- 1 pound spinach, coarse stems discarded and leaves finely chopped
- 1 small fresh green chile, such as serrano, Thai, or jalapeño, slit lengthwise with stem end intact
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup plain yogurt (not Greek-style)
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- 10 fresh curry leaves (optional)
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over medium heat until it shimmers. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 7 minutes. Add spinach, chile, 2 tablespoons water, and 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in yogurt.
- Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a small heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook mustard seeds until they begin to pop and/or turn gray, then add cumin seeds and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until cumin seeds brown, about 30 seconds more. Add curry leaves (if using), covering skillet immediately for a few seconds, then stir spice mixture into spinach mixture. Season with salt. Serve warm.
•Chile can be removed during cooking when the dish is spicy enough for your taste.
•Spinach-yogurt mixture, without spiced oil, can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Reheat before proceeding with recipe.
- Carbohydrates6 g(2%)
- Fat10 g(15%)
- Protein4 g(8%)
- Saturated Fat1 g(7%)
- Sodium321 mg(13%)
- Polyunsaturated Fat2 g
- Fiber2 g(8%)
- Monounsaturated Fat6 g
- Cholesterol5 mg(2%)