Spicy Spinach and Potatoes

A couple of weeks ago at the Binghamton farmers’ market I discovered some delightful small red peppers. The farmer told me they were Tobago peppers. After a bit of research I learned that they were, in fact, Tobago Seasoning Peppers or Trinidad Seasoning Peppers depend upon who you asked. What makes these peppers so special is that because they are same species as habanero peppers (capsicum chinense) they all the flavor but without the heat. So, what does that have to do with spinach and potatoes? Well, it happens that nearly half of the population of Trinidad and Tobago is descended from immigrants from India so their cuisine has strong Indian elements. So I adapted this Indian recipe by adding Caribbean peppers and spices. I serve it over spiced brown basmati rice accompanied with raita, cucumbers in yoghurt.

Ingredients

½ pound potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch dice

¼ cup oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tsp. grated ginger

2 medium Tobago Seasoning Peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch by ⅛-inch strips

2 cups, about 6 ounces, fresh or frozen spinach

Method

Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the potatoes until brown on all sides and tender. Remove and salt lightly.

Pour off all but 1 Tbsp. of the oil from the pan. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and peppers. Sauté over medium heat until the onion is golden brown. Turn the heat down if they start to blacken. Put the spinach in the pan, turn the heat to medium low, cover, and cook until spinach is done.

Stir in the potatoes and raise heat to warm through. Serve over brown basmati rice accompanied by raita.

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