October 7, 2013

Saag Jhinga Curry

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Curries prepared with saag (spinach) come in so many delicious guises; this one features shrimp (jhinga).

1 tbsp
(15 mL) fenugreek leaves
1 tsp (5 mL) each: kosher salt, ground cumin
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each: ground coriander, cayenne
1/4 tsp (1 mL) turmeric
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) ground nutmeg
2 bunches
spinach (about 1-1/4 lb/1 kg), stemmed, washed
2 tbsp (25 mL) ghee
1 large onion, grated
4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 tsp (5 mL) ginger purée
2 large plum tomatoes, chopped small
1/3 cup (80 mL) heavy cream (35%)
1 lb (500 g) large shrimp, shelled, deveined
3/4 to 1 cup (185 to 250 mL) plain yogurt, to taste
Kosher salt to taste

Masala: Stir together ingredients in small bowl.

Curry: Put spinach with water clinging to leaves in large pan on medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until wilted, about 5 minutes. Drain, but do not press to remove more water. Let spinach sit in strainer until lukewarm. Chop.

In same pan, heat ghee on medium until shimmery. Add onion. Sauté until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and ginger, then masala. Sauté 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes. Add spinach and cook 2 minutes, stirring often and scraping pan. Stir in cream. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add shrimp. Simmer, covered, just until shrimp is opaque, 3 to 5 minutes. (Do not overcook.) Uncover, remove from heat and stir in 3/4 cup (185 mL) yogurt. Add salt if desired. Add remaining yogurt if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

  • Drop into an Indian grocery store to get the fenugreek leaves (labelled “qasuri methi,” these have a smoky accent).
  • For vibrant flavour, Indians grind their spices just before using them.
  • Ghee is nutty, Indian-style clarified butter, sold in some supermarkets. Oil can be substituted.
  • Grating the onion using the large holes of a box grater is an Indian culinary trick. Be warned: It will make you cry. Finely chop the ends you can’t get at.
  • I fool with tradition and stir in the yogurt at the end, as it curdles and offends the eye when simmered.

Credit: Susan Sampson
Tested in Imperial