Spiced Coconut Spinach Recipe

The perfect simple, spinach side dish - toast a few spices, add a pile of shredded spinach to the skillet, and finish things off with a burst of lemon juice and some shredded coconut.

Spiced Coconut Spinach

A quick post for an easy but interesting side dish I just made. It's the type of thing I get excited about - simple, but not boring. All in one pan. I stumbled on this recipe for Coconut-laced Spiced Spinach as I was flipping through Anjum Anand's new book. Not much more than ten minutes later, we were sitting down to the table with it as part of our meal. You toast a few spices, add a pile of shredded spinach to the skillet, and finish things off with a burst of lemon juice and some shredded coconut. I went off-road with the recipe a bit and added chopped asparagus - because we have a lot of it right now. And because I love it. And because, why not?

Coconut Spiced Spinach Recipe

The cumin is really nice here. Don't skimp. I might even add a pinch more next time around. And if you like more heat, add more red pepper flakes to taste. Also - I know some of you are sick of hearing me say this - resist the urge to overcook the spinach. You want to cook it just long enough for it to collapse, cook through, and brighten up. And keep in mind it continues to cook after you pull it from the heat.

Coconut Spiced Spinach Recipe

I think I'm so excited about this in part because it is so versatile. While it makes a great side - I ended up having it on top of one of my "special" quesadillas. I can also imagine it on an open-faced veggie burger, in a taco, in a wrap, over brown rice or farro, etc. Or make a meal of it with some grilled tofu, paneer, or fried egg. Let me know if you end up making it, and what you do with it. Hope you like it as much as I do. And thank you Anjum for the inspiration - I'm really enjoying the Ayurvedic angle of this book.

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Spiced Coconut Spinach

As I mention up above, this spinach makes a great side. I can also imagine it on an open-faced veggie burger, in a taco, in a wrap, etc. Or make a meal of it with some grilled tofu, paneer, or fried egg. You can easily make this vegan by using oil instead of ghee/butter.

1 shallot
1 large clove of garlic
1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 tablespoon ghee, clarified butter, or sunflower oil
1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup finely sliced asparagus - optional
7 oz / 200g spinach, well washed, and chopped
squeeze of lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut, lightly toasted

Place the shallot and garlic on a cutting board, sprinkle with the salt, and chop/mash everything into a paste.

Heat the oil in your largest skillet over medium heat. Add the seeds, cover with a lid, and let them toast a bit. Remove the lid, stir in the red pepper flakes and let cook for a minute. Stir in the asparagus if you're using it, let cook roughly another minute, then stir in the garlic-shallot paste and all of the spinach. Keep stirring until the spinach starts collapsing a bit, and brightens up - barely any time at all - perhaps a minute. Finish with a bit of fresh lemon juice and the coconut.

Serves 2-3.

Inspired and adapted from the Coconut-laced Spiced Spinach recipe in Anjum Anand's Eat Right for your Body Type: The Super-Healthy Detox Diet Inspired by Ayurveda.

Prep time: 5 minutes - Cook time: 5 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Well this is not veggie... but I just made some salmon "burger" patties tonight (made with almond flour)- and this spinach topping might give them a really interesting twist. I'll check it out with leftovers tomorrow. I like the versatility here.

Niki (of SI)

i love the flavors you used. veggies + coconut is always a winner for me. I make rice with coconut milk and add veggies like asparagus and green beans...need to try this...just skip the rice and go for the coconut and veggies. looks PERFECT!

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)

Very interesting. I think I'll give this a shot. I'm glad the asparagus is optional though :-)


Hey Heidi! This looks amazing! I met you in Portland, and brought you a bottle of wine. Please check out my blog?? http://alittlepicnic.wordpress.com/ Take care!!! Thanks for inspiring me everyday! HS: Thanks again Sarah - that was so very sweet of you. Looking forward to spending some time on your site!


Unrelated to this delicious sounding spinach but Heidi, I really hope you will consider adding SNE to the Kindle store. I ran out and bought a hard copy the day it came out and with practically every recipe tagged as a "must try", I really really wish I had a copy to carry around on my iPad as I travel a lot and always try to stay where I have easy access to a kitchen. Please! It would make me (and my husband) so happy.


This sounds really good, but I'm confused about the amount of shallots to use. Three shallots total?


This is so my kind of recipe. I love spinach so much. I've never thought to combine it with coconut!

Michelle | Gold-hearted Giel

Way to kick spinach up in an absolutely amazing way! This looks SO good!


I love your recipes. I thought of you this weekend when I dined at the Palm Springs restaurant, John Henry. I had am amazing salad- warm grilled eggplant(sliced very thin like carpaccio) topped with diced tomatoes and chopped garlic and a chiffonade of basil drizzled with an oil and vinegar dressing. It was so simple but soooo tasty. You have to try it!

Linda M

Not only do I love toasted coconut but I like all of the items that you paired this spinach dish with. We've been eating quite a few spinach salads for lunch and this would be a nice way to change things up a bit. Thank you 101.

Snippets of Thyme

When do you add the garlic/shallot mash?

Samantha Angela

I like the combination of spinach and coconut :)


I like making spinach as a side dish because it's so unbelievably quick to cook. This coconut version sounds like a must-try and a winner.

Nisrine M.

This sounds so great. I'm not a super huge fan of cooked spinach but may that is because every time I've had it the cook, over cooks it. Wen I make this, I promise I won't over cook the spinach.

Gwenever@Apron Apeal

hi heidi, is anjum's new cookbook a vegetarian one? i thought it might be since it's based on ayurveda, but went to the amazon page and couldn't tell from the description. if it's not, could you tell me how many of the recipes are meat based? thanks! janki HS: Hi Janki - Anjum's book isn't vegetarian. That said, it is HUGE. And there are endless vegetarian recipes in it. I was just tagging recipes to try from it again this afternoon, and kept thinking to myself I'll never be able to get through them all!


Really? You say these flavors worked well together? I'll have to believe you since the other recipes on your site have all been fav's of ours. I love spinach and I have some shaved coconut I'll try to make work. Coconut oil would work well, yes?


i can DEFINITELY handle the heat and would love the extra cumin and pepper. what a heavenly side dish!

Heather (Heather's Dish)

Lately, I've been experimenting with creamed vegetable quiches, and I think this would be an excellent addition to a creamed sweet potato and cabbage quiche! But, I really love it as a side dish - so simple and healthy. Thank you for sharing!


It is so easy to get into an Italian rut with greens -- olive oil, garlic, a dash of hot pepper. It's a GRAND rut, but there are so many more options. I've not taken my greens down the Indian road in some time, and have never included coconut in the mix. I can't wait.


I would never think to put those flavors together but it sounds delicious! Your cooking philosophy sounds like mine: simple, but never boring!

Amanda (Eating Up)

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