Palak (Spinach) Ambat

Goan Palak Ambat
Goan Palak Ambat
A mildly tangy and spicy Goan curry using Spinach and Split Peas, in a ground coconut and spice base.  

1 big bunch of spinach (wash, clean and chop into 1 - 2 inch pieces)
1 onion (chopped fine)
1/2 cup split peas
1/2 cup desiccated or 1 cup fresh grated coconut
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
4 red chilies
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 inch ball of tamarind (soaked in hot water to extract pulp)
4 cloves garlic (crushed and chopped)
1 teaspoon chili flakes
3 teaspoons oil
salt to taste

1. Prep your spices before you begin to save time while cooking.

2. Boil the split peas in 2 cups of water with 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook till the peas are soft, then strain and let cool. Retain the leftover stock for later use.

3. Roast the coriander seeds and chilies in 1 teaspoon of hot oil until the coriander changes colour slightly. Do not let them burn or the curry will turn bitter.

4. Combine the chopped spinach, split peas and onion in a large pot along with the stock from the split peas.

5. Grind the roasted spices along with the coconut, tamarind pulp and turmeric to a thick paste and add it to the pot once the spinach is half cooked.

6. Heat up the remaining 2 teaspoon of oil and fry the chopped garlic and chili flakes until the garlic turns a nice golden brown colour.

7. Add the garlic and chili flakes mix to the curry and give it a final stir. Taste for salt and turn off the heat.

8. Serve hot with chapati or rice and a side of your favourite pickle.