As a child, like most others, I too did not like eating spinach. Then my mother introduced me to Popeye the sailor. When I saw him empty out a can of spinach and fight Bluto to save Olive Oyl, I became a fan of Popeye and spinach!
While I absolutely enjoy raw spinach, spinach juice, sauteed spinach with almonds, etc.. my favorite spinach dish is an Indian dish called “Palak Paneer” Palak = spinach and Paneer = Indian cottage cheese (resembles firm tofu in appearance).
Recipe serves 3/4:
- 2 bunches of spinach
- 8 Oz/250 grams of paneer
- 1 dried red chilli
- 1 stick of clove
- 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 tsp of finely chopped ginger
- 3/4 of a medium sized onion, finely chopped
- 2 green chillies (slit into half)
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 5 Tbsp cooking oil of your choice
- Salt to taste
- 3 Tbsp of cashew powder*
Method Of Preparation:
- Thoroughly wash the spinach to remove soil residues. Then transfer the spinch to a pot, add a couple of Tbsp of water. Sprinkle some salt, cover the lid and let it cook for about 5 to 7 minutes and let it sit to cool.
- Cut the paneer into small cubes and shallow fry in 2 Tbsp of oil till light golden brown.
- Place the paneer on a sheet of paper/kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil
- In a small pan, on low flame, add the remaining oil and lightly shallow fry the stick of clove and red dried chilli for about 30 seconds. Remove it and place it aside.
- In the small pan, on low flame add the onion, green chillies, garlic and ginger, stir while it fries and the onion turns golden.
- Then add to this, turmeric, garam masala, red chilli powder and mix well. Remove from flame after 1 minute. Set aside to cool.
- After it has cooled down, blend the masala mixture and the spinach in blender very lightly. Personally, I prefer a consistency that’s somewhat like coarse baby food
- Transfer the blended spinach back to the pan. Turn the flame to medium. Add the clove and dried red chilli that was set aside. Add the powdered cashew and salt to taste. Mix well. Finally, add the paneer. Let it cook for another 7 to 10 minutes so that the spices mix and settle in.
- Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve hot either with rice or naan
Enjoy your palak paneer while reaping the benefits of spinach.
I do not have a picture of my own this time, using one from the WWW 🙂
*Note: To make very fine cashew powder, I tossed a handful of cashews into a chopper (that I generally use for dry ingredients like nuts and coffee beans). If the consistency of the powder is not fine, then I refine it further by sifting it through a sieve (fine meshed strainer)