This vegan Zanzibari dish, made with malty coconut-milk powder, is the richest creamed spinach I’ve ever tasted. The luscious flavor develops in the last 10 minutes of cooking, so be sure to let it simmer for the full 30 to 35 minutes.


(makes 4-6 servings)

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium red onions, minced
2 plum tomatoes, cored and minced
½ to 1 serrano chili, seeded and minced
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen spinach, thawed
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ cup coconut-milk powder
⅓ cup warm water


Heat the oil in a medium saucepan or pot over medium heat; saute the onions until they begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chili and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes.

Stir in ⅓ cup water, spinach, cumin, and salt, and bring to a simmer. Decrease the heat to low and cook, covered, until the tomatoes and onions are completely soft and the spinach is extra tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

In a small bowl, dissolve the coconut-milk powder in the warm water. Stir the coconut-milk mixture into the spinach and continue cooking, covered, on low heat until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Courtesy of “The Food of Oman” (Andrews McMeel, 2015).