Spinach is a popular leafy vegetable across the world. Earlier I used to think that spinach is just a rural leafy vegetable which is popular in Bengal only. In Bengal, spinach curry (Palong shak ghonto) is very popular and I love this winter food since my childhood. But when I started living in various other parts of the country then I came to know that it is also a popular leafy vegetable in various other parts of the country too. Palak paneer is a famous North Indian dish. Gradually I came to know that spinach is also a common & popular leafy vegetable in the USA, Europe etc.
Though nowadays I love palak paneer a lot but in comparison with palong shak ghonto, it stands nowhere, haha. I used to love this Bengali dish since my childhood. It is a very common dish in West Bengal as well as Bangladesh.
Spinach is called as palong in Bengali language. Shak means leafy vegetable. In Hindi, it is called as saag instead of shak. But both sound similar.
Now what is ghonto? Do you know?
As per my understanding, most ghonto dishes are less spicy and cooked with very little amount of oil. ‘Panch phoron’ is often used to make such dishes but it is not mandatory. If you are a Bengali then you will definitely know what is ‘panch phoron‘.
Panch phoron is prepared with equal portions of 5 types of whole spices. These spices are mustards (sarso) seeds, cumin (jeera) seeds, fenugreek (methi) seeds, kalonji (kalo jeera), fennel (saunf in Hindi/ Mouri in Bengali) seeds.
People use various seasonal vegetables to this ghonto. That is why this dish not just delicious but also very healthy. Most people love to have this Bengali style spinach curry with plain rice but still, if you want then you can enjoy this with roti, loochi/puri etc.
Spinach is such a winter leafy vegetable what every gardener grow during this season. If somebody does not have a yard garden then also he prefers to grow this vegetable in containers. Being a gardener, I also grew it in containers as well as on ground. It is very easy to grow leafy vegetable.
Palong shak ghonto recipe
- 1 bunch of fresh spinach leaves (approx 250 gms)
- 1 small bowl of chopped seasonal vegetables (radish/muli, hyacinth beans/shim, potato/aloo, brinjal/baingan etc)
- 1 cup daler bori
- 1 teaspoon ginger (adrak) paste
- 1.5 teaspoons panch phoron (mixture of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, kalonji, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds)
- 3-4 green chillies
- 1.5 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Salt as needed
- ½ cup water
- Wash & clean fresh spinach leaves and then cut into small pieces
- Wash all vegetables under running water and then clean those vegetables. Now cut those into small pieces
- Heat oil in a cooking pot and saute dal bori till it turns into light brown
- Add ginger paste, saute for next 30 seconds
- Now add panch phoron (mixture of 5 types of whole spices) & green chillies and saute till raw aroma goes away and nice mix aroma comes out
- Add all chopped vegetables and sprinkle salt as needed. Now cook all those vegetables till those becomes soft
- Now pour ½ cup of water and boil till all vegetables are perfectly cooked and water almost dried up
- Finally add chopped spinach leaves and cook till all vegetables are cooked perfectly and spinach leaves mixed with all vegetables
- Serve this with plain rice
Also read: 5 traditional & very delicious Bengali village food items
How to make palong shak ghonto at home?
Wash fresh all vegetables, then clean those and cut into small pieces. You can add any seasonal vegetables of your choice. Here I have added brinjal (baingan), radish (muli) along with its stem, hyacinth beans (sheem) and potatoes (aloo).
Now fry daler bori till those turn into light brown, then take those in a separate bowl
Add ginger paste and panch phoron one by one and saute till raw aroma goes away. Now add all vegetables & salt and cook till vegetables are little soft. Then pour water and boil those till potatoes and other vegetables are perfectly cooked. Wait till water is almost dried up.
Now add finely chopped fresh spinach leaves and mix with all vegetables. Cook till spinach leaves are perfectly cooked and mixed with all vegetables.
Now serve it with plain rice, you can serve this with khichdi too.
Huh, I said don’t cook vegetable food. How many times I would say that I am non-vegetarian? CAN’T YOU UNDERSTAND?? Give me fish or milk!!