Thursday, January 23, 2014

Spinach Cream with Arteisan Indian Cheese Cubes

Ok, Let's call this as how it's called back home in India- "Palak Paneer". But I kinda liked the new name- more exotic. Palak (spinach) was seasonal, before the advent of hypermarkets and frozen veggies. Winter meant new potatoes, carrots, beets, raddish, turnips, spinach, mustard, and new rice. And 'Palak Paneer' was a seasonal treat. Here's a quick recipe that evolved while trying to conjure a part of that wintry evening magic for a guest of mine.

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • Cottage Cheese (Paneer)- 200 gm cut into 1 inch sticks.If you are unable to locate paneer, you could try with whatever local option's available. Maybe a haloumi?
  • Spinach- 500 gm
  • Onion- 1 medium, finely chopped
  • Garam Masala- 1/2  tsp
  • Red Chilli's- 2 large
  • Ghee (clarified butter)- 3 tbsp
  • Salt- To taste
Preparation (45 mins):

Wash and puree the spinach. On low heat fry the paneer pieces, taking care that they do not break, till one side is golden brown. Remove the paneer from the pan and add the onions. Saute till translucent, add red chillis and turn up heat. In a minute or so add garam masala and stir.

Add the blended spinach, paneer. Cover and let simmer for 10 mins.


Serve hot with rice or roti


  • If you prefer a mellower rather than a spinachy flavour, you could cook for another ten minutes or so, but mind you, you will be loosing all the vitamin boost that comes from fresh veggies. ;)
  • For a creamier taste stir in a couple of spoonfuls of fresh cream just before taking it off the stove.
  • If you are adventurous, you could substitute the spinach with mustard leaves for a drier, pungent dish- a recipe common to North Indian Punjabi kitchens in winter.

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