Tuesday, September 16, 2014

681. Iraqi Tomato Spinach Stew


Iraqi marags (stews) are defined by the type of vegetable and meat in it, as well as by its color.

We have red marags, like Bamia, Aubergine, and White Bean.
Yellow marags, like Courgette, Tashreeb, and Habeet.
And "white" marags, like Yachni, which has no tomato to make it red, nor curry or turmeric to make it yellow.
Spinach marag, a favorite of mine, can be made as a red or yellow stew, and how you like it would depend mostly on how it was made while you were growing up. I personally prefer the yellow, but the red has another dimension of flavor to it worth trying. I made this red version without a pulse, but you can easily add cooked chickpeas or split peas. Using a pressure cooker to cook the meat cuts down the cooking time drastically and makes it literally fall off the bone. If you cook this the traditional stovetop way, depending on the cut of meat I would recommend simmering covered for a good hour and a half to two hours.


Ingredients:

750g meat on bone
1 large onion, sliced
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp Madras curry powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 loomi (dried limes), pierced
1 pk (400g) frozen spinach
3 Tbsp tomato paste


Method:

Sear the meat on all sides in a tablespoon of ghee.
Add the sliced onion, garlic, pierced dried limes (loomi), turmeric, Madras, and pepper.
Add boiled water to cover by an inch or two.
Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Add the thawed spinach, tomato paste, and salt.
Simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
Serve alongside rice.


 صحة و عافية

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

marhaba...very nice stew..deep and complex flavors im sure and so nutritious.....could someone forego the curry and use anything else and still remain traditional? ty nadia.

Maryam Mohammed said...

Marhaba Nadia! Sure you can skip the curry and keep the turmeric or skip both without a problem. Iraqis like curry powder so it is not uncommon to find it in a lot of dishes.

Noor said...

I am not used to eating spinach and only had it in smoothies, but I would love to try this.

Maryam Mohammed said...

Insha Allah you will not regret it. If you are reluctant from mulukhia and think it's the same, don't worry it's not similar at all and is one of my favorite marags.

The Urban Fox said...

Oooh this looks so good! Do you think it will work as well with spinach purée? x

Maryam Mohammed said...

Without a doubt; go for it!
The only difference would be in texture but the taste would still be awesome.

Anonymous said...

Maryam, how r u?This looks.nice. what kind of meat do u use and when do u remove the bones? Also do u thaw the spinach beforehand or just throw it in straight from the pack? S

Anonymous said...

Woops do u pierce ur loomi also. S

Maryam Mohammed said...

Al hamd Allah thanks S, I hope you are well too. Usually in stews I use shanks and/or the back bone. I do not remove the bones as they give so much flavor. Most times I just add the spinach frozen straight from the bag.

Maryam Mohammed said...

Yes definitely, I'll fix the instructions to include that!

Anonymous said...

hi
I am a huge fan of spinach and I definitely want to give this recipe a try...
by the way, just out of curiosity, is molokhia featured in traditional Iraqi cuisine as well? am just curious to know the extent of its usage and popularity in the Arab world...
thanks in advance
best wishes,
Jean-Pierre

Maryam Mohammed said...

Hi Jean-Pierre, welcome to MCW.
Yes mulukhiya (also known as Jew's mallow) is used in Iraqi cooking, although it is much more known in Egyptian cuisine. I personally cannot get past their mucosal characteristic therefore I completely avoid them. They are highly beneficial health-wise, and many people like it. I unfortunately still have not developed a taste for them.
Thanks for passing by!

Assel Ayad said...

انت صفحتك كثييير كثيييير جميله و انت فنانه

Maryam Mohammed said...

Shukran Assel!

Anonymous said...

Merhaba,
Any substitute for loomi? Or do you dry limes yourself?
Thank you

Maryam Mohammed said...

Marhaba, you can use some lemon juice instead but it won't be quite the same as the noomi lends not only some acidity but also a distinct smoky flavor. I buy my dried limes already packaged.

Denise Ahmad said...

I made this dish tonight for dinner!!! My husband was so impressed as usually it takes me a couple of times to make it taste very good but not with this. It turned out so delicious. I did add chickpeas to it because that's the way he wanted it.

Maryam Mohammed said...

It is definitely a family favorite. I'm glad it worked out so well for you Denise.