Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Palak Paneer and Conversations With The Mamma

I have a one hour long conversation with my mother almost everyday after work, mostly when I am cooking dinner. It serves two purposes, (1) speaking with Mom while cooking reminds me of home except that I'm cooking here (thats how I learnt to cook, I would chat with Mom while she cooked for us) and (2) Whenever I forget a recipe, I have help at hand.

Today's dinner featured palak paneer and me teasing Mom about her pretending to be large-hearted and Mom trying to convince me while laughing helplessly, "No, I'm seriously so large-hearted." Anyway, its a sort of inside joke (For the sister and brother - this refers to my surprise at Mom's Social work and the famous "You are SO not the social work kinds" to which Papa said, "Thats absolutely true" and then meekly saying, "I'm just saying..." when Mamma turned to glare at him.) and pretty boring for anyone who's not my sister and brother, so sorry.

Anyway, the way Mom and I make Palak paneer is super simple. It takes us 20 minutes in all. I shall post the pictures later.


Spinach - 1 bunch (about 350 gms)- Cleaned, washed and shredded
Tomato - 2 diced
Garlic - 2 cloves
Ginger - 1 inch - peeled and sliced
Green Chillies - 4 (ok, ok, I cheated and used 7 because I LOVE chillies but for the love of your intestinal linings, this is not recommended)
Salt - To taste
Water - 1/2 glass
Paneer - 200 gms - diced and sauteed until golden (sauteeing is optional, if the paneer is v fresh, I don't saute it)


Ghee - 2 Teaspoons
Cummin (jeera) - 1 Teaspoon


Put spinach, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, chillies, water and salt in a pressure cooker. Cook until 3 whistles. Take off heat, cool and wait for the pressure to go down. When it has cooled, with an immersion blender, blend the spinach until it forms a puree.

Heat ghee in a pan, add cummin. When cummin starts crackling, add the spinach puree, the paneer and cook until the puree starts bubbling. Serve with rice or rotis.


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