Palak Dhokla

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Recipe for children by Sanjeev Kapoor, Master Chef, Author and Television Host. E-mail: enquiry@sanjeevkapoor.com

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Spinach is thought to have originated in ancient Persia (modern Iran). It is believed that Arab traders carried spinach into India and then the plant was introduced into ancient China, where it was known as the Persian vegetable. The earliest available record of the spinach plant has been found in Chinese, stating that spinach was introduced into China via Nepal in 647AD. There are three basic types of spinach. Savoy has dark green, crinkly and curly leaves. Flat or smooth leaf spinach has broad smooth leaves and semi-savoy is a hybrid variety with slightly crinkled leaves. Florentine is a common part of names of recipes where spinach is a significant ingredient. In the 1930s US spinach growers credited Popeye with a 33% increase in domestic spinach consumption. The spinach growing town of Crystal City, Texas, USA erected a statue of Popeye in 1937. Medieval artists extracted green pigment from spinach to use as ink or paint.

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