Popeye’s Vegan Spinach Curry: Mushrooms and Corn in a Creamy Palak/Spinach Indian Curry

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Mood: Let’s face the crispy fried truth. Calorie-rich food is down right delicious. Creamy. Decadent. Scrumptious. It hits all the right spots. Don’t you wish, just sometimes, that healthy food could also taste just as indulgent? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a healthy meal could satisfy us in the same finger licking way & leave us craving for more? Well, that’s exactly what I had in mind when I cooked this dish. I absolutely love Spinach, but my husband, not so much. It’s not something he’s particularly fond of & hence, it doesn’t make too many appearances in our kitchen. So I set myself a challenge: To cook a delicious & wholesome dish, with Spinach in the spotlight, that will win my husband over to the greener side:) And I’m happy to report that I was thrilled with the results! This Creamy Spinach Indian Curry, with Mushrooms & Corn, is deceivingly healthy & ridiculously delicious:) 100% skeptical husband approved:) I dedicate this Vegan Palak Curry recipe to Popeye, the Spinach-loving Sailor Man, one of my favourite Cartoon Network characters:) Popeye inspired me to eat Spinach as a child & I hope this recipe inspired you too:) Bon Appétit:)


Popeye


Time: 20 minutes (+ Soaking Time)
Serving Size: 2 people
Category: Lunch; Dinner
Author: Animagus Eats


Ingredients:
Cashew Cream
• 1/2 cup Cashews (soaked)
• 1/2 cup Almond/Coconut Milk
Curry Base
• 2 cups Spinach (Palak)
• 3 cups Mushrooms (sliced)
• 1 cup Corn (fresh/frozen)
• 1 Small Onion (chopped)
• 5 Garlic Cloves (chopped)
• 1/2 cup Coconut Milk
• 1-2 Bay Leaves (Tej Patta)
• 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil (I used Mustard Oil)*
• 1/4 tsp Bengali Five Spice/Cumin Seeds (Jeera)*
• 1/2 tsp Jeera/Cumin Powder
• 1 – 1 1/2 tsp Curry Powder*
• 1 – 1 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
• 4-5 tbsp Cashew Cream
• 1 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
• 1/2 cup Water
• Salt (to taste)
Garnish
• Fresh Cilantro/Coriander Leaves
• Cashew Cream


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Method:
1. Soak the cashews in water overnight (preferable), or if you’re in a hurry, quick soak them in boiling hot water for 1-2 hours. Drain the cashews & add them a blender/food processor, along with almond/coconut milk, & blend the ingredients into a smooth Cashew Cream mixture. Set aside the Cashew Cream for later.

2. Next, add the spinach, coconut milk & 1/2 the amount of chopped onions & garlic (save the rest for later) to the blender/food processor. Blend the ingredients till they form a smooth spinach paste. Set aside the Spinach mixture for later.

3. Heat the oil on low/medium heat in a large saucepan & add the bay leaves & Bengali 5 Spice/Seeds to the pan. If you don’t have Bengali 5 Spice, then you can use cumin seeds instead. Fry the spice seeds for 30 seconds, until they are lightly brown (don’t let them burn).

4. Next, add the remaining chopped onions & garlic to the pan & sauté them for about 1 minute, till they are light brown in colour.

5. Add the corn & mushrooms to the pan & again, sauté them for 2-3 minutes, till they have a light char on them.

6. Next, add the blended spinach mixture to the pan & stir well. Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan & stir again, combining the ingredients together. 

7. Next, add 4-5 tbsp of the blended Cashew Cream to the curry & mix well. You can add more cashew cream, if you would like the curry to be creamier in taste & texture. The recipe quantities yield extra cashew cream (more than what the recipe calls for), so feel free to be generous:)

8. Finally, add the cumin powder, curry powder, red chilli powder & salt (to taste) to the curry & combine well. Simmer the curry on low heat for 1-2 minutes. Do a taste test (Taste. Tweak. Repeat) & check the flavours & add more salt/spices/cashew cream, according to your preference:) Once the curry is well cooked (it shouldn’t taste raw), turn off the gas & stir in the lemon juice.

9. Pour the curry into a serving bowl & garnish it with 1-2 tbsp of the remaining Cashew Cream & fresh cilantro/coriander leaves. And voila! Your Creamy Spinach Indian Curry, with Mushrooms & Corn, is ready:) You can enjoy it with rice/bread/quinoa/roti:) Creamy. Wholesome. Home Cooked Deliciousness:) Happy Eating:)


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Notes:
*Curry Powder is available in all major grocery stores. You can also make the Curry Powder at home using this DIY recipe by by Minimalist Baker:)
*I used Mustard Oil in this recipe & it added a unique flavour to the dish:) If you don’t have/like Mustard Oil, you can also use Olive Oil, etc.
* I’m originally from Kolkata, West Bengal in India & as a Bengali, I love my Bengali 5 Spice, or Panch Phoron, as known in Bengali:) It’s used to add flavour/tadka to savoury dishes & has a beautiful aroma, when you fry/roast the 5 seeds in oil. You can easily make your own Bengali 5 Spice at home using Fenugreek Seeds, Nigella Seeds, Fennel Seeds, Cumin Seeds & Mustard Seeds. Check out this easy DIY recipe by Genius Kitchen.

 

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