Palak Rajmah- Spinach and Kidney Beans.

Tall cardboard boxes unpacked. Furniture set in place. Suitcases full of clothes slowly making their way into the large closets. All toys found intact, for the girls. The house is set. The kitchen’s got going.

We have moved!

Not very far from Cambridge though. It is the next town literally.we moved to  lexington,Ma.

This is our fifth move in 10 years. and our third move within Boston. All our moves have been for great reasons and have worked out well for us. Touch wood. We moved from NY to Boston for my husband’s Grad school. Once  he finished school, we had our second child, while our first one turned 5.

5 is a big number in USA. we realized! It is the age when the kids start school!!! The official, real life, mainstream, public school.

We have been hearing about the American school system, the public schools, the way it works, the school districts, the registration and all that from the past few years. But  just that , it was not our turn yet. We were just very relaxed and were enjoying our first born girl while watching other friends of ours frantically moving and changing homes and places. All for one reason. GSD! Good school district!

Little did we realize that time flies by so fast. Our daughter is already 5 and now it is our turn to find the GSD.

It is amazing how Kids take up all the priorities in life and suddenly we as parents are thinking everything from their point of view.

We did  our part of research, discussed with friends and neighbors and also paid attention to word of  mouth and we finally settled down for Lexington. Apparently, it is the good school district. We just do not know what it exactly means or what we have to expect from the school or even from our daughter,being in a good school district, here in the US. It is so different from our country, the curriculum, the system, everything.

As much as I am not sure about how this school might work for my daughter, I am  excited about  being introduced to the American system of education. I am curious to see my daughter getting blended and integrated into her school with great diverse set of students  and begin her lifelong journey of education. Starting now, from Kindergarten!

While we wait for the school to start next week and while we settle in our new apartment, I made this wonderful dish in  my new kitchen. It is my first dish in my new place.

PAlAK RAJMAH

This a spectacular combination of beans and greens. Double dose of health in one dish.

This is  a simple twist to the traditional Rajmah masala.

1 cup of cooked kidney beans

2 cups of finely chopped Spinach

1 onion (medium size) finely sliced

3 ripe tomatoes pureed

3-4 green chillis

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

3 tbsp oil

Spices: 

1 tbsp, good quality Garam masala, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 2 cloves, 1 stick cinnamon,  1tsp turmeric.

salt to taste

Method:

Heat oil in a wide pan. add cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, and green chillis and ginger garlic paste and saute for 10 secs. Next, add onion and fry till they turn translucent

Next, add the chopped spinach and cook until it wilts and becomes soft. Spinach cooks very quickly.

Once the spinach is cooked, add the tomato puree. add salt. turn the flame to low. Cook the tomatoes on a low flame, until the color changes to a bright red and until the oil separates.

Next add the garam masala and red chilli powder and mix well and cook for 5 minutes until the rawness fades. Finally add the cooked Kidney beans. Add some water. Mix well and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.

While simmering, all the flavors blend well and the kidney beans soak up all the flavors from the tomato and the spices.

Turn off flame. Serve with rice or rotis.

Notes: Add water according to the consistency needed. If it tends to get too watery, then simmer for a longer time. Watch out for the salt, specially if you have already cooked the beans with salt. You may add a chunk of butter or heavy cream in the very end, if you please to do so. You may add the same water that you had used to cook the beans to get that rich dark brown color for the dish.

Believe it or not we ate this as a side dish with rice and rasam as we did not have any wheat flour to make rotis.  And yet, it worked out so well.

Spinach Rotis

What gives me motivation to write a blog post?

Motivation! That is right! It takes a lot of motivation to keep  your blog updated.

I have been reading all over the web about how to increase traffic to the blog and how to get your blog noticed. And in most cases, it is said that, it is really important to write well AND write frequently.

But how? Where is the time? where is the motivation?

With two kids around, it gets really hard to do the most basic chores in your day-to-day routine, let alone coming up with a blog post.

A few weeks ago, I was on a cooking spree. I was just whipping things up in my kitchen like a robot. I was so inspired and enthusiastic to cook new dishes and just display them in front of my Hub. I had fresh ideas, innovative dishes on my mind and was dreaming day and night about how I can post all of them on my blog with great pictures. Not everything made it to the blog, but those that have made  it were a result of great enthusiasm. But, all of a sudden , I don’t know what happened, all my spirits went down, just like the air out of a balloon. I felt dull, withdrawn and lazy even to make myself a cup of coffee.

But since food is a basic necessity, I did cook everyday but there was nothing great about it. Just a simple rasam sometimes or the same Baath that I have cooked probably a zillion times so far.

The weather played a major factor too. There were continuous HOT days here in Boston. We had heat wave warnings and it was pretty bad. With the weather so hot ,usually we do not feel like eating much. so we snacked and munched on slices and slices of watermelons and cucumbers. We cooled ourselves with a small helping of yogurt rice during the night.

Things have gotten better now and slowly my attention is turning towards my poor blog. I said to myself, ” I have to do it”. “no matter what”.

Now I had to get motivated myself to cook and blog about it. I thought I will try this strategy.And I did. And it worked pretty well,coz you are reading this post 🙂

I watched regularly all cooking shows on food network. I read quite a lot of food blogs and ogled at  the beautiful pictures. I browsed through many food websites and just read the names of many many dishes. It evoked my senses. And before I knew it, I was drooling in my mind imagining and tasting some spicy dishes. I also made  a “cook to blog list” while I was watching one of the food network shows.  Next thing I know, I found myself in the Indian store shopping some nice stuffs. My brain was recharged. My senses evoked and my mind motivated.

I physically got up on my feet and headed towards the kitchen with great vigor and made these truly delicious Spinach rotis.

Hope you all will enjoy!

Spinach Rotis:

2 cups of whole wheat flour( I used Sujata atta)

2 cups finely chopped baby spinach

1 tsp turmeric powder

3 cloves of Garlic finely grated

6 green chillies, finely chopped

salt

2 tbsp oil

water for kneading the dough.

Method:

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and knead into a soft pilable dough using little water at a time.

Once the dough is ready, take small portion of the dough and roll them into thin rotis.

On a hot griddle, cook the rotis until they turn a little golden brown on both sides.

You may  use some oil on the sides of the roti while it is cooking.

Once it is done, serve it with pickle of your choice and some cool yogurt.

Note: This roti tastes equally good when eaten cold too. You can store them in a wrapped aluminum foil or in another box for later consumption.