Cook's Hideout: Jammu & Kashmir -- Palak Nadir (Spinach & Lotus Stem Curry)

April 11, 2014

Jammu & Kashmir -- Palak Nadir (Spinach & Lotus Stem Curry)

Blogging Marathon# 39 - Indian States: Day 11
State: Jammu & Kashmir
Dish: Palak Nadir
Jammu & Kashmir is located in the Northern tip of India. It is mostly located in the Himalayan mountains and has international borders with China and Pakistan. Jammu & Kashmir consists of Jammu, Kashmir valley and Ladakh. Srinagar is the summer capital and Jammu is the winter capital. Kashmir valley is famous for its beautiful mountainous landscape and Jammu is famous for the numerous shrines that attracts Hindu pilgrims. Ladakh is known as Little Tibet and is renowned for its remote moutain beauty and Buddhist culture.

Cuisine: Ladakhi food has much in common with Tibetan food, the most prominent foods being thukpa, noodle soup and tsampa, roasted barley flour. Kawa is a traditional green tea made with spices and almonds, is consumed all through the day in the chilly winter weather.
Kashmiri cuisine has evolved over hundreds of years and is highly influenced by the food of the Kashmiri Buddhists and Pandits. Apart from this, it is also strongly influenced by the Central Asian, Persian and North Indian cuisines. Kashmiri Pandit cuisine is elaborate and is usually prepared with lots of yogurt, oil and spices. Dry fruits and Saffron is used widely in Kashmiri dishes.
Specialties: Ladyar Tsaman (paneer in turmeric), Dama oluv (dum ka aloo/ potatoes), Nadir Yakhean (lotus stem), Shufta, Panjeeri, Kasaar and many more.
Jammu & Kashmir -- Palak Nadir (Spinach & Lotus Stem Curry)

Today's Dish: This is the first dish I ever made with lotus stems and I wasn't sure how they would taste. I bought frozen lotus stems and thawed a few pieces to try. I was pleasantly surprised how crisp and delicious they tasted. My little one couldn't get enough of them, she loved munching the lotus stems.
This curry could not be simpler to make and the final dish is very earthy and delicious. This is one of those dishes that doesn't have too many ingredients, but the end result is surprisingly tasty. Using all dry masalas with onions, ginger or garlic was interesting and also the addition of black salt or kala namak in a curry recipe was new to me. All in all a super tasty curry that goes perfect with either steamed rice or roti. 
Jammu & Kashmir -- Palak Nadir (Spinach & Lotus Stem Curry)
Recipe from Kashmiri Food Recipes:
IngredientsMakes about 3~4 servings
Spinach - 1 bunch (I added some kale as well)
Lotus Stems - 1cup, chopped (I used frozen)
Red chili powder - 1tsp (or more to taste)
Ground fennel - ½tsp
Ground ginger - ¼tsp
Black Salt/ Kala Namak - ¼tsp
Asafetida/ hing - ¼tsp
Cumin seeds - 1tsp
Salt - to taste

  • Heat 2tsp oil in a pressure cooker; add the chopped lotus stems and saute until crisp tender. Remove into a bowl and set aside.
  • In the same cooker, heat 1tbsp mustard oil and add cumin seeds and asafoetida. Once the seeds start to splutter, add the chopped spinach and salt. Cook until the water is evaporated, about 4~5 minutes.
  • Add the red chili powder, ground fennel and ground ginger. Cook for 1~2 minutes.
  • Add 1~1½cups of water. Cover the pressure cooker and cook for 2 whistles.
  • Once the pressure releases, mash the greens lightly with a spoon. Add the fried lotus stems and kala namak; cook for 5 minutes.
Jammu & Kashmir -- Palak Nadir (Spinach & Lotus Stem Curry)
Serve hot with steamed rice or roti.

Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked today for BM# 39.

Linking to Fabulous Feast Friday# 10 being hosted by Valli & Prachi.


  1. delicious looking curry..there is this one side to kashmir which is more natural than opulent when compared to the other parts, you have caught that side of it wonderfully well

  2. We eat lot of lotus stem and this is on our regular menu with a few ingredients here and there. Looks delicious with simple spices.

  3. I also have never cooked with lotus stem and I need to do that soon. I have been seeing several lovely recipes and should try it. Looks lovely pavani!

  4. That bowl of spinch lotus stem is so inviting. Since morning each time I opened my fb page, this bowl was tempting to try it. I never cooked with lotus stem and this morning decided to pick up a bag on my next trip to the store after seeing your pictures.

  5. Isn't it a great feeling when you try something completely unknown and everyone loves it? Lotus stem appear to be very popular in Kashmir

  6. Very different and healthy dish, never knew that we can mix both lotus stem and palak like this in a single dish, looks fabulous.

  7. I so want to try the lotus stem... looks very interesting..

  8. I also never tried lotus stem,curry sounds inviting and healthy..Will try it soon..

  9. Great that you could lay your hands on lotus stem.. Looks inviting !

  10. We don't get lotus stem here. So I don't have any idea of how it would taste. This dish looks so nice...

  11. I've never seen let alone tried lotus stem. they look really exotic..

  12. Never cooked with lotus stem, that bowl is so healthy!

  13. Hey that is one more recipe using lotus root. Good pick.

  14. i've only had lotus stem once and that being a Chinese recipe - with all these lotus stem Indian recipes, inspiring me to buy some next time I go to either Chinese or Indian market

  15. I am in love ...with the veggie. Wish I can make lotus stems again but like this.

  16. Simple but must be flavorful. I too bought the frozen stems for the first time and since I was not sure whether my family is going to like it or not if used in a curry, I tried chips instead and loved it.

  17. Nadru and palak wat an fantastic combo and the curry looks absolutely delicious pavani :) again an interesting dish in a row :)

  18. This is such a unique combo ...lovely!


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