I find myself craving Indian food several times a week. However, most Indian restaurants tend to use a lot of ghee or oils in their dishes. This palak paneer recipe is a tasty, yet nutritious, version of one of my favorite dishes. You won’t miss that extra fat in the dish because it’s just that good.
If you’re not already cooking with paneer, go out and get some…stat. (I usually get mine at our local indian store in the freezer section but it’s also available at Whole Foods.) Paneer makes what could be just a side dish into a filling main dish.
from Lite and Luscious Cuisine of India by Madhu Gadia, MS, RD
(New editions are entitled: New Indian Home Cooking)
1 lb spinach, fresh or frozen
1 small onion, cut into 4 pieces
1 tsp fresh ginger, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups paneer cubes
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
In a heavy skillet, mix the spinach, onion, ginger, salt, turmeric, cayenne pepper and 1/2 cup water.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover with a lid and steam for 5 minutes or until greens are soft. Set aside to cool.
In a blender jar add the cooled spinach mixture and coarsely grind. (Megabeth Note; make sure all of the pieces of onions are chopped up into little pieces.)
Return the coarsely ground spinach to the skillet and stir in the remaining water. Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat until spinach is simmering. (Very important: Before stirring, remove the skillet from the heat and carefully remove the lid. The spinach tends to splatter and can burn.) Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. A longer cooking time adds flavor to the spinach.
Remove spinach from the heat, add paneer and stir. (Megabeth Note: If using frozen paneer, defrost for a minute or two in the microwave prior to adding it to the spinach.) Cover with a lid and return to the stove. Continue to simmer for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
To prepare chounk (seasoning): In a separate small fry pan heat oil on medium heat, add cumin seeds and cook for a few seconds until seeds turn golden brown.
Carefully add the chounk to the spinach, stir and cover with a lid. Let stand until ready to serve.