Palong shaak

Stir-fried Bangladeshi-style spinach

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

This simple, elegant and healthy spinach dish is spiced with panch phoran, which you will find in good spice shops — a mixture of fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, cumin seeds, brown mustard seeds and fennel seeds in equal proportions. The flavour it adds to vegetables is amazing.

I also love to cook this dish with Chinese cabbage (wong bok), or even just regular cabbage.

Preparation 5 minutes
Cooking 10 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 dried red chillies, broken
  • ½ teaspoon panch phoran
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 250 g (9 oz) English spinach, washed, picked and torn, including the stems
  • chopped roasted peanuts, to garnish


Heat the coconut oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and chilli pieces and cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes, until the onion is translucent.

Stir in the panch phoran and turmeric and fry for 2 minutes.

Add the spinach and season with a pinch of salt, mixing well. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes; the spinach will release plenty of water. (If you are using cabbage or wong bok instead of spinach, as suggested in the recipe introduction, you will need to cook it for at least 5–8 minutes at this point.)

Stir again, garnish with peanuts and serve.