A simple but very flavorful spinach dish from the royal palaces of Hyderabad. Serve it at meals with either breads or pilafs, along with a dal, such as Hyderabadi “sour” dal. At the Falaknuma Palace Hotel, where I first ate this, the spinach had been blended into a smooth purée. I just chop mine, as I like the texture.

    SERVES 3–4

    From the Taj Falaknuma Palace hotel in Hyderabad

    • 1 lb., 3 oz. spinach, well washed and drained
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • ¼ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
    • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into fine half rings
    • 3 good-sized cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons very finely chopped fresh dill
    • ¾ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
    • ¼–½ teaspoon nice red chili powder
    • 2 tablespoons finely sliced scallions (white parts only)
    • 4 tablespoons peeled and finely diced tomatoes

    1. Bring a large pan of water to a rolling boil. Drop all the spinach into it. As soon as the leaves have wilted, drain them in a colander and run cold water over them until they are cool enough to handle. Squeeze out most, but not all, of the water, then chop finely and set aside.

    2. Put the oil and butter into a medium, preferably nonstick, frying pan and set over medium heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for 10 seconds. Add the onions and sauté for 3–4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low, then add the chopped spinach, dill, salt, turmeric, and chili powder. Mix well, then stir and cook on low heat for 2 minutes. Add the scallions and diced tomatoes. Stir and cook for another 2 minutes.