Bhaji with Baby Spinach and Coconut Cream
11 oz baby spinach (pre washed)
1 medium onion sliced thin
3 cloves garlic sliced
1/4 hot pepper (optional) I used habanero
dash of black pepper
salt to taste (I used a little less than 1/4 teaspoon)
3 tablespoon olive oil (I use extra virgin for the additional flavour)
1 can coconut cream (5.6 fl oz)
Even though I purchased the pre-washed spinach (please get baby spinach for
best results) I still wash it before cooking. Blame our mom for that.. she
believes in washing just about everything. Then in a wide sauce pan heat
the olive oil on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the sliced garlic
and allow to cook for a few minutes to infuse the oil with the flavours of
If you look closely at the edges of the garlic you'll notice that it's
starting to go golden in color, this is a good indication that it's time to
add the spinach. Since we washed the spinach, make sure to drain it well
before adding to the pan with the hot oil and garlic. At first you'll doubt
that the entire batch of spinach will fit in the pan, but as it wilts...
everything will fit. Just keep adding as needed.
The next step is to add the black pepper, sliced onion, hot pepper and
salt. As mentioned I used a little less than 1/4 teaspoon of salt, so I
suggest you add a similar amount and at the end add additional if needed.
TIP BTW, if you have a heavy hand and add more salt than necessary, feel
free to add a sliced tomato to the pot to try and diffuse some of that
salty taste. I then pour in the coconut milk into the pan, cover, turn down
the heat to low and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. You'll notice
that the spinach released a lot of it's own liquid. No worries.. we'll burn
all that off later.
After 20 minutes cooking with the cover on the pan, you'll notice that
there's still a bit of liquid left in the pot. After-all we added coconut
milk as well to the natural juices of the spinach itself. Remove the cover
and turn the heat up to medium/high to cook off all that liquid. Keep a
close eye.. if you notice the spinach starts to stick to the bottom of the
pan, turn down the heat. It must cook off the liquid evenly.
Note: I like my spinach cooked as we do with dasheen bush bhaji.. melted to
a sort of smooth paste. But if you prefer, you can cook this much faster
with the lid off the pan for about 7-10 minutes (instead of 20) or until
the liquid (coconut) milk dries off. On a higher heat setting. This way
you'll have a finished dish with more texture.
As the liquid dries off, you're done. It will look a bit mushy, but trust
me.. this is packed with flavour and healthy goodness.
From: Caribbean Pot: Caribbean Cooking, Recipes and Culinary Culture
Chris at CaribbeanPot