Spinach is a beautiful thing.
And I'm not even talking about all the wonderful health benefits of this supreme super food. You all should know it by now. If not, Google it today and educate yourself.
I'm talking about how often the beauty and versatility of Spinach is undervalued. One of the great things about Spinach is that it does not have a very distinct flavor or taste. Which means, it can be easily blended with other foods. And this could be anything from smoothies to soups to lasagnas or to baby food.
Forget food, there is even a recipe for a glowing and anti aging face mask made with spinach puree. Nature has all the answers - we just need to match those up with our questions.
I've kind of started making a lot of spinach blended food at home. That recently included parathas, rice, sauces for pasta, and now of course this beautiful and nutritious adai.
This adai uses rice and two types of daals - channa and toor daal.
Here are the ingredients -
Rice - 1 cup
Toor Daal (Split Pigeon Pea)- 1/3 cup
Channa Daal (Yellow Split Pea)- 1/3 cup
Fresh Spinach - 1 bunch cleaned thoroughly
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Red Chillies - 3-4
Coriander Seeds - 1 tsp
Black Pepper - 1/2 tsp
Fresh Coconut - chopped or grated 1/4 cup
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Channa Daal - 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves - a few
Wash and soak the rice and daal together for about 2-3 hours.
Pick the spinach leaves off the stems and wash the leaves thoroughly.
In a pan, heat up about 1/2 tsp of oil. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, red chillies and black pepper. Fry for a few seconds and add the fresh spinach in there. Cook for just a min or two until the spinach kind of wilts and shrinks. Don't overcook the spinach - let's try and keep some vitamins in here.
Here's the soaked rice and daal. The daal will be soft to touch now.
Move the cooked spinach and soaked rice/daal to a blender. Add the 1/4 cup of coconut. You can use grated frozen coconut or can use the fresh one as well. For a change, I had fresh coconut chopped up at home. So,in here they go. If you don't mind spicy food and got no kids complaining about it - go ahead and throw in a couple of green chillies in here. Add salt to taste.
Grind together to a beautiful green batter.
Do a tadka of mustard seeds, curry leaves and 1 tsp channa daal and add to the batter. Mix well.
Use a ladle full of batter and make a thin dosa like crepe. Usually adais are done really thick and they become very heavy to eat. Somehow I like to make them thin - just make sure your batter is smooth enough so you can draw it out thin.
Serve 'em hot.
Coconut Chutney makes a good side accompaniment for this adai. You could also make sambar if you'd like or avial which goes really well with all types of adais.
How can your kids say no to spinach this way? Make use of it! You can also add some grated carrots or finely chopped onions to the batter for a more wholesome adai. Be creative - make it all uniquely yours.
Can we have dinner now? My crispy adais are waiting..
Enjoy. Peace Out!