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Mike Wolfberg's Recipe for Palak Raita - Spinach-Yogurt Salad

This is one of a dozen recipes developed by Mike for a Concord/Carlisle Massachusetts Newcomers Gourmet Group dinner which took place on 1-Mar-75.

(Approximate preparation time: 30 minutes)


  1. Wash (if necessary) and clean the spinach, trimming away the tough stems and other bad-looking parts. Chop the spinach so the pieces are no bigger than about 1" square. Steam the spinach for 5 minutes, so that it cooks without being submerged in water. (You can use a colander or sieve in a large pot.) While the spinach is steaming, continue making further preparations.
  2. Place the ground cumin in an ungreased frying pan over very low heat. Shaking the pan, lightly roast the cumin for about 45 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat.
  3. Place the yogurt in a bowl or one-quart measuring cup. Add the roasted cumin and the salt.
  4. In a small frying pan or saucepan which has a cover place the ghee over low heat. When the ghee is melted, stir in the black mustard seeds. Cover the pan and shake it occasionally; as the ghee heats up, the seeds will pop and spatter. When they have stopped spattering, remove the pan from the heat.
  5. Mix the fried mustard seeds, along with the ghee used to fry them, into the yogurt mixture.
  6. When the spinach has steamed for 5 minutes, remove it from the heat. Drain the spinach well, squeezing out any excess moisture with paper towels. Then add the cooked spinach to the yogurt mixture, and mix thoroughly. This yields about 3 c. Empty it into an attractive serving dish, preferably a glass one; cover and refrigerate for at least 90 minutes.

To serve: When you get to the hosthome, be sure to refrigerate the dish. Stir the mixture before serving.

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