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In India we had the chance to cook with Mama! We never actually got her full name, but she was so proud to teach us how to cook as she figured it would increase our chances of finding husbands (in India most women are married by the age of 21- so we are long overdue). One of the dishes she taught us was Palak Paneer (aka Spinach Cheese). This is a favourite vegetarian Indian dish and very simple to make. Our best advice for cooking Indian food comes directly from Mama: "any problem- you google". 

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Palak Paneer

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Yield: 2-3 side dishe

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup paneer cubes (Indian cottage cheese)
  • 4 cups spinach (aka palak) 
  • 2 to 3 green chilies 
  • ¾ cup fine chopped onions 
  • ½ cup tomatoes 
  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds 
  • ½ tsp coriander powder 
  • ¼ tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ to ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp garlic + ginger paste (made by mixing minced giner, minced garlic and water
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/8  tsp cumin
  • oil (your choice- in India we used vegetable but you could make it healthier with coconut oil) 
  • salt to taste 

DIRECTIONS

Soak spinach (palak)  for 10 to 15 minutes and drain. In a pan, add green chilies, spinach and fry for just 2 to 3 mins on a medium heat. Cool spinach and puree.

Cook paneer (cheese) in 2 tbs of oil, drain and set aside.

In a pan,   heat oil, cinnamon, cardamom pods, cloves, cumin, onions and fry. Add garlic + ginger paste and fry. Add tomatoes and salt. Fry until mushy.  Add fennel, garam masala and cumin powder. Saute. Add 1/2  cup water and stir. Cook until the mixture thickens. Add the pureed spinach. Mix well. Add paneer and mix.

Serve palak paneer with roti, naan or rice.