Corn Palak (Sweet Corn in Spinach Gravy)
I had a lot of palak (spinach) leaves left over the other day, even after making my favourite fish curry with them. In a way, I was glad to see them as these greens are so versatile and one can make a number of dishes. Packs in the nutrients as well.
My first thought was to make palak paneer, but realized that there was no paneer (cottage chese) at home. But there was an unopened packet of sweet corn kernels in the fridge and that caught my eye. I remembered that we used to be served corn palak in my first office as part of the free (vegetarian) lunch there. The palak part seemed to be the same as the one in palak paneer. Since my original plan was to make palak paneer anyways, I decided to add corn instead of paneer and turn it into corn palak.
Let’s get on with the recipe then.
Corn palak (sweet corn in spinach gravy)
A bunch of spinach leaves, washed
1 carrot, chopped
1 cup of sweet corn kernels
2 onions, grated
2 tomatoes, blanched and mashed (or 3 tablespoons tomato puree, if you prefer, although the taste may vary a bit)
2 dry red chillies, torn into halves
1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
½ teaspoon each of turmeric powder, cumin powder and coriander powder
½ teaspoon Garam Masala (optional)
A pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon refined oil
I tablespoon heavy cream
Steam the spinach leaves lightly along with the chopped carrot and blend them into a paste. The addition of the carrot helps in reducing the slight bitterness inherent in the spinach. Keep aside the ground spinach.
Next, take a wok/kadai and let the dry red chillies splutter in hot oil. Add the grated onions and ginger-garlic paste and fry till they turn brown. Next, spoon in the spice powders (turmeric, cumin and coriander) and mix well.
Now, add the mashed tomatoes and blend them well in to the masala. After that, pour in the ground spinach and stir. Tip in the cup of sweet corn into the curry and add salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Cover the kadai and let the curry simmer in low heat for around 5 minutes.
Finally, take off the lid of the vessel, sprinkle a dash of garam masala and switch off the heat. Add a dollop of cream before serving and pair the dish with rice, roti or any bread of your choice.
I loved the fact that the dish was so wholesome and delicious at the same time. The creamy texture of the spinach along with the golden, juicy sweet corn seemed to complement each other well. Maybe next time you have spinach leaves at home, you can try out this dish and buy a packet of sweet corn kernels instead of paneer!