Takatla Palak

Takatla Palak: Spinach in Buttermilk curry

I think it is really easy to be vegan with Maharashtrian cooking. Everyday sabjis that my mom makes are all vegan. Paneer was not at all known to us until I was in college.  We bought 1 or 1.5 ltrs of milk everyday. If we had unexpected guests that day, we had nothing left even to have morning cup of tea. We did get small dollop of freshly churned butter with bhakari and one vati of homemade buttermilk everyday. This was all before 'Operation Milk Flood in India'. I remember it was very difficult to make any milk based desserts during summer due to scarcity of milk. But milk was available in good quantities during August/September during festivals. My grandma and mom both took great care of malai everyday, and took efforts to make homemade ghee and save for festivals.

Yesterday I saw an Indian family taking about 6 gallons of milk from supermarket and I wondered how do they use so much milk :) But again who am I to judge, right?

My day-to-day cooking is about 90-95% vegan. But occasionally I deviate to some lacto-vegetarian recipes like Kadhi-Khichadi and Buttermilk Spinach that I am going to share today. I just love spinach with tangy buttermilk that is thick in consistency. It takes just few minutes to prepare and comfort food is ready to enjoy with chapati, quinoa or rice. I have even tried making this with vegan yogurt and results were very comparable. So that is good option for vegans too. Let's move on to the recipe, shall we?

5-6 cups of Spinach Leaves
3/4 cup of Fat Free Yogurt
2 tbsp Besan (Chick Pea Flour)
1.5 tsp Goda Masala
1.5 tsp Red Chili Powder (Or per taste)
Salt per taste
1" ball of Jaggery
2 tbsp Oil
Tempering - 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds, few curry leaves, pinch of Turmeric, pinch of hing
3-4 Cloves of Garlic
2-3 Dried Red Chilies
2-3 cups of water as needed

Preparation -
Mix 2 cups of water with yogurt and make buttermilk using immersion blender or wire whisk.
Add besan and mix thoroughly dissolving all the lumps.
Wash and chop spinach.
Heat 1 tsp oil in heavy bottom vessel.
Add chopped spinach and saute. Add little salt and mix well, this will help to spinach to wilt faster.
Let it cook for few minutes. Now add red chili powder, little more salt, goda masala and jaggery. Stir well to mix.
Stir buttermilk and carefully pour in the cooking spinach.
Stir constantly as the buttermilk can curdle. Let it cook thoroughly.
If its too thick, you can add more water and mix. 
Smash garlic and chop roughly.  Remove stems of red chilies and break chilies in couple of pieces if they are too long.
Now heat remaining oil in a small kadhai, add cumin and mustard seeds, let them splutter. Add hing, turmeric powder and curry leaves. Add chopped garlic and red chilies. Let it sizzle for couple of minutes and pour over cooked sabji. Mix well and serve hot with hot chapati, quinoa or rice.

Tips - 
  1. You can add 1/4 cup of cooked peanuts in while sauteing spinach. 
  2. You can add green chili paste instead of red chili powder. 
  3. I like thick consistency but you can adjust that with water as you like.


  1. Next trip into Maharashtra, I will buy all these masalas that you use. Goda Masala seems to be adding a lot of flavour to the dish.

  2. Love your new blog design. Your bell pepper sketch is gorgeous!


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