palak paneer

Have you ever had this? No? Oh you really should…it’s yummy and good for you, too. (Jeez, I really sound like a mom) If you have had it, then you know what I mean…yum.

Now, I “cheated” a bit, and bought pre-made Paneer. But, you can make your own at home by taking 1 lb of whole milk ricotta cheese and spreading it into a 9×5″ loaf pan and baking it at 450F for 40 minutes. Allow to cool and cut into cubes.

I happen to live where there are all sorts of  International grocers-so that’s where I got my goods. I am pretty sure I am one of the few Caucasian chicks that shop there with a toddler in tow, and on this particular day she dressed herself in a red gingham dress-which was great except it was on backwards. She wanted to dress herself and, that was how it was -in her words ” ‘poosed to be, mommeee!” That’s okay. I am not a toddler in tiara type mama. But, I am sure I was an interesting customer of the day.  Nonetheless, all the little shops I visit have the nicest people. Despise my crazy-dressed toddler carrying around a bag of  murmura like a baby.  She still ended up with free lollipops. Well, we both did. They were good-except we both couldn’t decipher the flavor. I think it was fruit-flavored, but a fruit that’s not found in the US. Hmmm…back to palak paneer.

The Ghee is clarified butter- it is amazing stuff. Butter. But it can be cooked at higher temperatures, and it has a deep buttery flavor that’s real. Anything butter is good.

OK, let’s get to it. Heat some ghee in a nonstick skillet, (1tbs). I made a Baghar which is where whole and ground spices are heated in ghee to bring out their flavor. The spices used were:

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp whole fennel seeds

7 green cardamon pods

4 whole cloves

1 tsp crushed red chile pepper

1/2 tsp kosher salt

Now add your diced paneer and brown on all sides. While this is browning, steam up a bag-o-spinach.

y’all know how to do that, I’m sure.

Now, drain it and pulse it in a food processor just a few times. Add salt n pepper.

Add your paneer- (remove the cloves and cardomon) and serve.

This is great with Nann- or a side of basmati rice. Popeye will be proud of you.

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