I recently went to a modern Andhra restaurant, Maya, in Chennai. Andhra Pradesh is a small state in southern India, whose cuisine is typically very spicy and loaded with masala, tamarind and ground spices.
This restaurant surprised me though. The food was mild, full of subtle flavors and delicious. The one dish that really stood out to me was the lovely spinach rice. I asked my waiter if he could give me the recipe and he, very graciously, told me the ingredients. So I made an attempt at it, and thankfully, it turned out exactly how I’d hoped. (I’ve added peas to this rice, in order to get in more veggies, but the original recipe didn’t have it, so feel free to leave it out).
Spinach Rice (with Peas)
2 cups White or Brown Rice, cooked and cooled
4 cups Spinach, cleaned and washed
1 tbsp Mustard Seeds
1 tbsp Urad Dal/ Bengal Gram
1 large Onion, peeled and chopped fine
2-3 Green Chillies, slit (optional)
1/2 cup Green Peas, cooked (optional)
2 tsp Sesame Oil
Salt, to taste
Heat the oil in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds and urad dal and stir until mustard seeds begin to pop. Add the onions and green chillies and cook until the onions are transparent. Now add the spinach. Continue stirring/ cooking until wilted.
Mix in the cooked rice, peas and salt and fold until fully combined with the spinach mixture.
Delicious! Even my I-won’t-eat-anything-green daughter ate it without a complaint!