I love spinach. Gorgeous green leafiness, it seems to suit every single style of cooking you can challenge it with and adds iron rich taste to everything. But even Popeye would baulk at the price of it these days. Pillowy packets of it disappear into nothing when cooked and takes you aback everytime. When I first lived in London on a student budget I ate mountains of the frozen version and it still seems to taste of the cheap white wine I washed it down with making me struggle with this budget option.
So imagine my joy when I came across a huge can of that altogether most robust cousin of spinach, callaloo, in the Nour Cash and Carry for just 99p recently. The stronger stems and bigger leaves suit canning well and it retains its texture and flavour much better than spinach does. I thought it would suit slow cooking well and decided to update the Indian classic saag aloo with callaloo for an easy one pot meal.
Callaloo Aloo: serves 4 as a main course
- Can callaloo, drained
- 6 potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 5 curry leaves
- 50g creamed coconut
- 1 pint water
- handful fresh coriander to serve
This is the simplest meal possible. Lightly toast the mustard seeds in a hot pan until they pop, add in the garam masala and ginger and cook lightly for about 10 seconds. Put the potatoes in mixing well to coat evenly and then add the callaloo and curry leaves. Top up with the pint of water, making sure the potatoes are just covered. Add a bit more water if needed. Cook on a low heat for about an hour or until the potatoes are starting to fall apart. Stir in the creamed coconut and turn the heat up for about 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve.
The callaloo is tasty and earthy and the coconut and potatoes give it a creamy texture. It makes a hearty tasty easy main meal or a great side dish alongside other Indian or Caribbean cuisine. It reheats well, even if it isn’t a looker, and handily creates very little washing up! Dinners don’t get better than this so keep a can of callaloo in the cupboard!
Miss South is also Food and Drink Editor at Brixton Blog and their little brother paper the Brixton Bugle. This post originally appeared there.