This spiced spinach dip is fresh, super packed with goodness and flavour. I first had it at a modern Indian restaurant in Manchester. I’ve always loved poppadoms and chutneys, in many ways they’re my favourite part of a curry meal, and this was the best dip, it took me and Dan by surprise we’re so used to the same old, but it was so fresh and just packed with flavour. I’ve eaten a lot of Indian curries in my time, all be it mostly Englishified, more often than not home-cooked. There are some really authentic vegetarian restaurants in Leicester I’ve visited a few times, years ago now. But, though I’m sure it’s not unusual, I’ve never come across this dip before! The norm is for Indian cuisine restaurants to be pretty generic I find (though there are of course many exceptions out there) and you miss out on the wonderful variety of food that the Indian subcontinent, or anywhere, can provide, especially for a vegetarian or vegan. I wish that I’d had a chance to try more Indian food before my intolerances, such as to gluten, nightshade plants and grains, developed, now I can’t really eat out. Neither can I follow that many authentic recipes, and so I create my own lighter, often healthier versions and enjoy the strong flavours in a way I can. And they’re far better than food prepared in someone-else’s kitchen on an industrial scale, simple, home-cooked fresh food usually is ♥
Every time we’d eat curry we’d think of this amazing spicy spinach dip, and so I made my own version, with finely ground black pepper instead of chile. This recipe is for a blended mix, but you can finely chop the leaves and pound them in a pestle and mortar, which is really good as well. I found it a little runny, and so experimented and added avocado, which really works, but it’s great without too, and stronger, which is a good thing. I use finely ground black pepper instead of chilli pepper, as in all my recipes, which are all nightshade-free and the heat is just as good as chilli, and better for you. Have it with poppadoms, bhaji or samosa. It’s also beautiful spooned on top of a thick, spiced soup like my red lentil and roast butternut squash soup. It goes beautifully with other Indian chutneys and my lemon and coconut raita. This fresh, nutritious dip really brings a curry meal alive, and makes you feel more alive too it’s so zingy and revitalising! It keeps well in the fridge, and as with most spiced foods improves with time, but I bet you wont be able to keep your hands of it it’s so good!
- 2 cups spinach leaves
- 1 cup fresh coriander
- 1 small avocado, optional
- 1/2 cup fresh mint
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp finely ground black pepper
- 4 tbsp lemon/ lime juice
- 1/2 tsp black salt/ salt
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- Pinch of coconut sugar/ or other natural sweetener
Heat the oil, lightly brown the cumin seeds - takes about 20 seconds or so, don't burn. Transfer to a bowl immediately. Take the larger stalks off the mint and coriander leaves. Combine the ingredients and blend (alternatively finely chop the leaves and use a mortar and pestle for a rougher texture). Keeps very well in the fridge for days.
This has a real kick, if you like things less or more hot just adjust the finely ground black pepper.
Add to my Red Lentil & Roast Butternut Squash Soup for a match made in food heaven!
It's also really good if you used mixed salad leaves instead of just spinach, I tried rocket, spinach and watercress and it was so good!