Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dim diye Palang Shak -- Egg-Palak Burji

Today I will be very honest with you, bare soul honest. A decade back I was not interested in cooking, at all. All that bovine poop about " smell of jeera bringing me solace" that I have in my About section, was well "bovine poop" to me. I never even dreamt that cooking could actually be therapeutic. Now eating was another genre altogether, that I loved. I sincerely believed Eating good was not only therapeutic but also pushed you closer to that non-attainable Nirvana.

It is not that I didn't know how to cook, I knew the basic dal, bhaat, macher jhol and also noodles and chili chicken. I did help my Mom to some extent around the kitchen but that was in fits and start and I wasn't one of those prodigies who bake cake at age 8 and biryani at age 12.Relatives in their right mind didn't often ask me to help out in the kitchen, for that I had that "prodigy cousin".

I started cooking for survival, once I moved out to my first job in Bombay. After a month of eating out, me and my room mate got a cute red clix stove and decided to venture out in the hitherto unknown land of homecooking. My room mate was worse than me, she claimed "she had never cooked before". So with my minimal repertoire, I started and every evening cooked either an egg curry or dal while roomy made rice.

There are mythical tales of my cooking from those days, which will make a nice story for a future post and so we shall hold onto them for now..

D, the husband on the other hand was a cooking geek, a freak of nature, the kind who chop vegetables in equi dimension and whose eggs boil just right each time, every time. He is and always was like Alton Brown (strictly cooking wise), very much into the techniques and science of cooking.

So while I was trying out new dunking techniques(another story !!!) in Mumbai and trying to cook with passion, he was creating a new following 998km away in another city. He was the self appointed chef of cooking morons who thought he was the domestic diva, just because he could make the perfect omlette and delicious chicken curry. I hope those morons learned survival skills on the way or got beaten up by their wife in later life.

Anyway to impress such people, this guy, the now husband twisted old recipes and created new dishes. One of them was Palak Burji, a spinach stir fried with eggs. This dish impressed me so much, that I decided to marry him and wrapped up my belongings and moved the 998km distance. Ok actually not this dish exactly but my cooking skills were so short of my own aspirations, that I was ready to marry any decent willing guy who would happily cook a good meal and clean up after that every evening and still maintain a decent paying day job.

That such "eagerness to cook & clean do not last forever" and "grass on the other side is always greener" and "people in glass houses...." is another proverb but who am I to complain, there is always Palak Burji aka Dim diye Palang Shaak and a guy who occasionally cooks and loads the dishwasher every night.

Egg-Palak Burji on toast for fussy 6 year olds

This Egg-Palak Burji is a very simple, yet excellent dish, too simple if you have frozen spinach 'coz that is the only way I have done this. If you leave the egg out, it is my Ma's plain old palang shak bhaja but she never had frozen spinach and she could also chop her spinach really really fine. So if you don't have frozen chopped spinach but can chop your spinach real fine you are good to go else pressure cook your spinach and coarsely mash it up before proceeding.


Egg Palak Burji

Cook 3 cups of frozen chopped spinach in microwave for a minute or two. When the green is cool to touch, squeeze out any excess water. Note: If you don't have frozen spinach, you can use fresh spinach chopped really fine. Or you can cook the spinach in pressure cooker and mash it up coarsely

Heat Oil in a saute pan

Temper with 1/4 tsp of Paanch Phoron

When the spices start dancing around, add 2 cloves of garlic minced, 2 slit green chilli and quarter of a red onion chopped fine

Saute till the onion is brownish pink

Add the spinach and saute till spinach is no longer releasing water and is cooked. Note: With frozen spinach and microwaving this step is like almost pre-done. With fresh spinach which has been cooked in pressure cooker and mashed up, it might take a while for water to dry up

Move the spinach to the edges and add a little more oil to the same pan

Break an egg (or two) into it and vigorously stir till egg is scrambled up

Add salt to taste and combine to bring in all the flavors.

This goes excellently with some hand mate Rotis or Phulkas. I love it with Rice. For fussy 6 year olds, put it on a toast and garnish with some cheese.


  1. Its nice to marry a man who know cooking. I have not combined eggs with greens. Looks good!

  2. Dear Sandeepa
    Hummm ! So I was not alone in cooking business in my days!!! Only thing was, your boudi was a great cook and used to make some this and that even in medical college hostel!! So we have been in competition always :-)
    This is a very new dish for me..I will try later, but today I have already chopped some methi sag and Alu and will whisk in 2 eggs into it. But the palak will be a better fit anytime. I already had 4 eggs in the morning , (1 officially and 3 secretly ). So this will add on
    as a great protein supplement..
    Bhalo theko ar subho Nabo barsho, tomader sabai-ke

  3. My helper at home recommends adding eggs to most vegs in this way, have done it too!

    A very happy new year to you all!

  4. That is an eggcellent idea. I am with you there, cooking was an alien art before I was forced neck deep into it.

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  6. so simple yet so delicious.. Tried this recipe today and hubby praised it enormously..Am amazing variation to the boring saag bhaja !

  7. Sandeepa,
    never made palong shak this way..
    and the palong we get here turn out always mushy ..even if i dont cut it finely....onek jol chare sit/fry korle ..
    wish you and your lovely family a very happy new year..
    hugs and smiles

  8. Thanks for writing this Sandeepa. Great to know the person behind the recipes. And may I say that you have come a long way Popeye :)

    I did made the odd french toast and chicken curry in calcutta.

    I too began cooking when i moved to Mumbai. And got our first kitchen after I left my PG for a rented place before we got married.

    Something just happened then. I think my dad's genes woke up

    Happy New Year to you, to D, to Baby S... and anyone else I might have left out

  9. Enjoy your writing Sandeepa. You have this flair which is so fresh and crisp :-) Recipe is new to me, and looks good.

  10. I started baking in my teen and cooking few years later - when I missed my mom's cuisine.
    Gosh If the man in house knows cooking he should expect everything perfect! Lucky after all u ve a chef in rescue :)
    Never did this combo better way to consume greens!
    Wish u a Wonderful Year 2010:)

  11. I usually make omelettes with greens but it never occurred to me to make burji the same way. This recipe is defintely going to be tried in my kitchen soon. Thanks for the recipe Sandeepa.


  12. looks delicious,..wish u hppy new yr 2010

  13. thats a very soulful post Sandeepa. loved reading it.
    I sometime make Palak bhurji but with homemade chhana. never tried with egg. this seems good protein supplement.
    Wish you and your family a very Happy new year.

  14. Can I be a fussy 6-yo? :) It looks divine, and the name sounds like poetry. Happy, happy new year to you and your family, dear Sandeepa!

  15. My roomie Sruti taught me this recipe and i couldn't stop loving it from that moment on... Lovely combi!


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