Welcome aboard!

Indian cuisine is a riot of colours, flavours, and spices. Every state has its own unique culture- ingrained taste bud. And, to many of us staying within familiar tastes is a sacrosanct act. Of course an occasional trip to a speciality restaurant that serves another fare is ok. But, as a matter of routine ...at home...NO!

One of the benefits of being born to parents who dared an interstate marriage (am talking about India of the 70's) was being able to widen a regional taste bud to accept, experiment and, relish eclectic cuisines :-)

I love food! Be it traditional or fusion, cooking is all about turning out fare that is tasty and healthy.I welcome all lovers of good food to come on aboard and share your kitchen adventures.

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Happy cooking!


Monday, July 7, 2008

Indian cottage cheese in spinach gravy (palak paneer)

Palak paneer is a popular Indian dish. There exist many variations to the recipe. Some people overload the simple dish with spices. Some others, like the expat celebrity chef I saw on TV the other day, choose to boil lots of water , cook the spinach in it, drain the water and dunk the leaves in cold water! I was outraged at the sheer waste of all those fabulous nutrients. Greens are delicate store houses of nutrients. Treat them easy! I like my palak paneer simple. The dish tastes yummy too. Do try and let me know what you think...
Spinach (palak)- 2 bunches
Onion - 1 big (finely chopped)
Green chillies - 3 Nos
Ginger - 1 short piece
Cumin (jeera) - 1/4 teaspoon
Low fat paneer (cottage cheese) - 200 gms
Milk - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Cream for garnish

Clean and rinse out the spinach well.
Heat a teaspoon of oil in a non-stick skillet, add the cumin and let crackle. Add the onions, ginger, green chillies and saute till onions turn translucent. Put in the spinach and simmer cook with a lid on. Cook only till the leaves wilt (about 5 minutes).Cool and grind in a mixer bowl.

Cut the paneer into small cubes and place in chilled water for few minutes. Drain. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a skillet. Add the paneer and stir fry till the cubes start browning. Add a pinch of turmeric powder and fry again. Pour the spinach mixture in. Simmer for a minute and add the milk. Add salt to taste and keep on low fire for a couple of minutes. Taste to check if the raw flavour has left the gravy. Take off flame. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with a squirt of cream on top.
PS: At home , I sometimes avoid the cream. Save the fat for parties :-)

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