Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"I'm an Indian Outlaw..."

Not quite the same message as Tim McGraw's song, but that's what I felt like last night!  I am always wanting to try out some Indian recipes, but never allowed as my fiance has it engrained in his head that he does not like Indian food.  One not-so-great culinary experience in Bangalore and he has written it off completely!

He has been out-of-town on business so I thought it made for the perfect opportunity to try cooking a few Indian recipes.  My first was Palak Paneer.  This is a very popular spinach dish from northern India.  It features lightly fried cubes of Indian cottage cheese.  There are many variations, and I made a fusion of a recipe that I received from my friend Vibha along with a spicier one that I found in magazine.  Flavorwise, it turned out great, but I was not too pleased with the texture.  I have refused to buy a food processor here as I have a nice one at home, but I am beginning to rethink this decision.  It really inhibits what I can make!  The spinach really needs to be processed so you can get that nice creamy consistency to the dish.  I also used lowfat milk instead of cream to make it a bit healthier.  Here's how I would make it if I could!

Palak Paneer


16 oz. package of frozen, chopped, spinach
7 oz package of paneer, cubed
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 green chilies, chopped
2 tomatoes, pureed
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup lowfat milk
salt to taste


1. Thaw spinach and squeeze out most of the moisture.  In a blender or food processor blend spinach until desired consistency.
2. Heat 2 tbsp oil over medium high to high heat.  Add onion and cook covered stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
3.  Add the garlic and green chilies and cook uncovered for another 4-5 minutes.
4.  Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring continuously until almost the consistency of a paste.

5. While the mixture is cooking, pan fry the paneer cubes in the remaining tbsp of oil.

6. When mixture has reached desired consistency, add blended spinach and spices.  Mix well and cook for 5 minutes.

7. Add milk and cook for 2 more minutes.
8. Remove from heat and gently stir in paneer.

I have a head of cauliflower in the fridge just waiting to be attacked so I look forward to trying Gobi Masala  (a spiced cauliflower dish) tonight.  If anyone has any good Indian recipes to share, I'd love to be the recipient!


  1. a version of this and my version of the cauliflower dish I do often, but thats about all I do from home. However I usually do the saag gost (i think its called?) which is the spinach with chicken. Its easy and I love that we eat about 3 bags of spinach for dinner when I make it. Did you have to go somewhere special for paneer? Ive never seen it in grocery stores around here I dont think?

  2. Yes, there are definitely a lot of delicious and very healthy Indian meals that you can make at home as much of their cuisine consists mostly of vegetables, legumes, and aromatics.

    I picked up the paneer at an Indian grocery, which is very easy to find being in the city. It's possible there may be one that delivers in your area? There's probably a minimum so if you have some other Indian ingredients you need, that might be easiest!

  3. yay! So excited you're venturing into my culture! loads of fun stuff to make...let me know if you need ideas



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