This recipe elevates an already great saag by adding alu kofta, little deep-fried balls of mashed potatoes tinged yellow with turmeric and spiced with chiles, ginger, and garlic. Crisp on the outside and creamy within, these potato balls have the same just-can't-stop-eating-'em goodness as another deep-fried potato-y treat: Tater Tots. Indian-inspired Tater Tots over Indian-accented creamed spinach? Yes, please.
'creamed spinach' on Serious Eats
At first glance the recipe includes all of the traditional ingredients—spinach, garlic, butter, and cream—but upon further inspection, you'll notice a few extra touches. Like ginger, in the form of a bright ginger-garlic paste, as well as starchy diced potatoes that thicken the spinach without having to worry about a roux. It's these kinds of smart little touches that make Hamilton and Hirsheimer the queens of taking satisfying, timeless dishes to the next level.
This recipe for Classic Creamed Spinach from Nigel Slater's Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch showed me exactly what my spinach was missing: a roux. Slater begins his creamed spinach by infusing milk with black peppercorns, bay leaf, and an onion. The milk is simmered and added to a mix of butter and flour, then whisked into a very thick, creamy roux. Spinach, cream, and nutmeg are incorporated at the very last minute, resulting in the kind of creamed spinach that you'd order at a steakhouse that's been around for longer than you have.
I love creamed spinach. Have I mentioned that? I do. I think I first developed a love for it during my vegetarian days back in L.A., when my carnivorous friends would drag me out to steak restaurants and I had no choice but to order all the sides on the menu lest I starve. And creamed spinach was always my first choice, followed by sautéed mushrooms, roasted asparagus, garlic mashed potatoes, and carrot purée. Gosh, I was weird.