Having returned from Italy last month, I wanted to concoct a fusion of Punjabi and Italian cuisine. In Punjab, farina is used mainly in a sweet pudding called soojee prashad (the recipe is in my book) But I decided to make something savory using the spinach which we have in abundance from our organic CSA. Most polenta is made with coarse corn meal, but can also be made with farina, which is an Italian word by the way. You could add sliced, cooked sausages to the sauce. I like Morningstar Farms ® vegetarian sausage. I also made a big spinach salad with this dish. Told you I had lots of spinach!
     
Mis en place, as the French say, is very important in cooking. This was brought home to me today when making the farina polenta. It means having everything in place, ready to cook. I had not sliced my spinach, nor beaten my eggs before beginning. This made it a little difficult to keep the polenta from becoming lumpy. So please, read through any recipe, or mentally go through it in your mind before you begin. Have all your ingredients (or good substitutes) at hand and “ready to cook”.

Soojee Polenta* with Jalfrayzee Sauce
Yield: 6 servings
For the polenta:
2 cups trimmed spinach, washed, thinly sliced (chiffonade) and packed
1/3 cup finely grated cheese, plus more for topping
3 eggs lightly beaten
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 can evaporated milk (unsweetened)
1 cup vegetable broth or water (or more if needed)
1 cup farina (soojee or regular Cream of Wheat ®
¼ teaspoon salt (or more if using water)
3 tablespoons olive oil
      
Grease an 8 X 8 baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil. Set aside.
     
At least three hours before serving, bring the milk, broth and garlic to a boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the polenta until smooth. Quickly whisk in the beaten eggs and the salt and olive oil. Return to medium heat for a few more minutes and continue to whisk until cooked. You may need to add a little more broth. Scrape into the baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours or overnight.
      
Preheat the oven to 400°. Remove plastic. Sprinkle more grated cheese on top or some pats of butter. Bake for 20 minutes, or until firm and lightly browned. Serve sauce separately.
For the sauce:
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)
½ teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
1 bay leaf (optional)
1-inch piece ginger, minced (optional)                                        
3 large tomatoes, chopped or 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 large onion, in ½ inch cubes
1 red bell and 1 yellow bell pepper, in ½ inch cubes
6-inch green chile, sliced with or without seeds (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper                           
       
Heat two tablespoons oil in a large wok until almost smoking. Toss in the spices, then the ginger and stir-fry for a minute. Stir in the chopped tomatoes or sauce and cook down over high heat until somewhat thick. Remove to a serving bowl. Wipe out the wok.
      
Heat three tablespoons oil in the wok and sauté the onion until golden. Add the peppers and sauté over high heat until crisp-tender. Stir into the sauce.
       
Serve over the polenta. 

*Make the polenta at least three hours before serving time.