SPINACH N’ CHICKEN CURRY
Driving through the heavy snow, I tried hard to dull my stomach growling. The hunger pangs wouldn’t leave.Winter snow always had that affect on me.Planning what I would cook when I get home was the only thing on my mind, when a trucker raced beside my car splashing all the snow on my car. Truckers, they are all the same everywhere, driving fast to be home with loved ones after a long journey. Wonder what they do when they miss home food….my thoughts drifted to the Dhaba’s in my country, a trucker food stop to be specific is what a Dhaba was originally intended.
“Dhaba’s” are roadside eating joints in India, which serve as a lifeline for travelers especially truckers.The truck & the truckers nurtured the Dhaba culture, and since most Indian truck drivers are of Punjabi (north west India) descent, these places were run by Punjabis.If you love the vibe, the loud music, the hectic crowd, with a big menu and are economical, this” hole in the wall place” would be just right for you.Needless to say we drove miles as students for that cup of chai or lassi ( sweetened buttermilk) & the simple rich, robust food served by these warm & accommodating Punjabi Dhaba’s.
For those of you who prefer candle light romantic dinners for two please step aside, this place is not for you, its for those of us for whom the embodiment of food signifies the spirit of the nation, and forms an integral part of our identity.The casual seating here is on cots( called Chaarpais in Hindi) and the food is prepared in clay ovens( called tandoors).The food is rich with dollops of butter in almost every dish & it served us well as students, in those days when we did not have to watch our waistline.
The sheer joy of eating Indian food lies in the tactile sensation of feeling the butter soft bread between your fingers, then scooping the curry within the confines of your bread and slowly loosing yourself in the gastronomic delight it offers. I can bet on the fact that a spoon & fork would never stand up to the challenge.One such delicious find was this Spinach in Chicken curry, also called Saag Chicken or Palak Murg in Hindi.
Stepping into my kitchen, woken up from that little flashback on the road, here I was armed with spinach & chicken, creating this simple & quick dish which combines the muskiness of spinach with the tenderness of the chicken & the delicious smell of aromatic spices. The window panes steamed up with my cooking indoors and the cold wind outside.Relish your greens & proteins in this spicy and creamy curry. Enjoy.
The links to my previously published Spinach recipes are attached below for your interest.