Indian food. I crave it. Often.
Especially my all time favourite dish - Palak Paneer.
Palak Paneer is originally a Punjabi vegetarian dish but is now found in variations all over India. It is a spinach curry dish with tomatoes, a mix of spices, onions and paneer (a simple rennet free cheese). You can find my paneer recipe here - it takes but a moment to make and just needs to be strained and pressed over night. If you don't have the time or can't find paneer at your local market, cottage cheese will do the job just fine.
Rather than blending the spinach like a curry, how it usually comes, I have actually left it chunky so it is like a thick stew. Team it with some simple naan bread (it's so easy to make from scratch!) and you have your Indian food cravings sorted.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Eating Time: Depends on how hungry you are
600g baby spinach
4 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fenugreek
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
120g / 1 yellow onion, finely sliced
20g / a thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled
20g / 3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled
100g / 1 tomato
80g/ 4tblsp cream
2 tbsp lemon juice
Grind the spices until fine, set aside
In a food processor blend the tomato, garlic and ginger until it resembles a nice smooth paste
In a large saucepan, bring salted water to the boil and have a bowl of iced water on stand by
Drop spinach into the boiling water for about 10 seconds until blanched, immediately drain and place into the ice water to stop the cooking process and to retain the vibrant green
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil and fry the onion until translucent
Add in the garlic, ginger, tomato and spices
Finally add the cream, lemon juice, spinach and cook for another 10-15 minutes
When the ingredients are combined and fragrant, crumble in the paneer and mix through
Stove Top Naan
3g/1 tsp instant yeast
180mls/ ¾ cup warm water
7g / 2tsp caster sugar
¼ tsp baking powder
300g plain white unbleached flour
2 tsp fine sea salt
15g/ 2.5tsp olive oil
50g/ 3tblsp yoghurt
Place the water, sugar and yeast into a bowl and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, salt and baking powder
Mix the yeast mixture with the dry mixture. Add in olive oil and yoghurt
Knead for 10-15 minutes until the dough is pliable. If the mixture is too sticky you may add a small sprinkling of flour
Place in a well oiled bowl and wrap with cling film
Allow the dough to double in size in a warm environment for about 2 hours
When the dough is ready, roll out onto a floured surface. Shape out into rounds or teardrop shapes that are about 1 cm thick
Heat a fry pan – for the best charred results a cast iron pan works like a dream
In the smoking hot pan, add a little oil and cook the dough, the bread will bubble and have charred spots on it. It shouldn’t take any longer than 30 seconds on each side of the bread to cook
Before adding the next piece of dough, lightly oil the pan again.
When all the bread has been cooked – it is time to dig in!
Tear the naan into pieces and dip into the deliciously fresh, made from scratch palak paneer.