Not too far from Palak Paneer, this spinach gravy is great with sweet pumpkin, but don’t stop there. Meat sits quite wonderfully here and if your family likes their meatballs, this is the kind of go-to gravy I suggest you make. Most, if not all the ingredients are already there in your Indian kitchen and the rules of this gravy are fairly straightforward—blanch and blitz your greens, then cook it down with spices before adding your pumpkin and cooking it covered till soft. Mum would have something like this with rotis, while I would prefer it with rice.
Yield 4 servings as a side dish
For a non-vegetarian version, make little chicken or mutton koftas and poach them separately before adding them to the finished gravy instead of the pumpkin.
Ghee 2 tbsp
Black peppercorns 10-12
Onion 1 medium-sized, thinly sliced
Ginger 1 1/2 tsp, grated
Garlic 6 cloves, minced
Green chillies 2, slit lengthwise and finely chopped
Spinach 1 bunch, blanched for 2 minutes in boiling water and pureed
Tomato puree 4-5 tablespoons
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon powder 1/4 tsp
Pumpkin 500g, skin peeled and cut into large dices
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves 2 tbsp, washed, picked from the stems and chopped for garnish
Heat a kadai or a deep pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the ghee followed by the cloves and black peppercorns. Let this sizzle for a bit until you can smell the heady aroma of the spices.
Add the onion to the pan when you smell the spices and cook the onions over low flame for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. When you have achieved this colour is when you proceed with the ginger, garlic and chillies. Turn the heat up and toss the contents of the pan for 2 minutes.
Next, add the pureed spinach and continue to work the gravy around the pan for at least 5 minutes to cook the spinach. After five minutes, add the tomato puree, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin and cinnamon with a few large pinches of salt and cook it for a minute stirring thoroughly, still over a medium to medium-high heat.
Add the pumpkin and toss to coat before splashing in 1 cup of water and let this mixture cook covered for 12-15 minutes, tossing once in between and checking the pumpkin for how done it is. Cook till the pumpkin is soft and the gravy has reduced to an amount of your liking. I like mine a bit on the drier side, so I’ll reduce the liquid in the pan a bit further before serving. Check the seasoning and serve garnished with chopped coriander leaves.