by SriVani Ganti – Boston University
Hello BG readers, how have you been? I hope you are all ringing in the summer with flip-flops, sunglasses and delicious foods. For my most recent post on BG, I dare to give you my own recipe for paalak paneer. I know many of your mothers, grandmothers and even fathers will have their own unique recipe for this dish.
If you need a quick translation of the dish’s name, paalak is spinach and paneer is a soft Indian cheese. Normally you don’t find cheeses in Asian dishes, but this is one of the few exceptions. Paneer is a soft white cheese that is vegetarian. Vegetarian? Cheese isn’t always vegetarian; sometimes the making of cheese uses rennet. Paneer on the other hand uses lemon juice or another acidic foods. Paneer is then qualified as lacto-vegetarian that provides a great source of protein.
If you haven’t had paalak paneer before, then perhaps this can be your opportunity to make it at home. It is a relatively simple dish to make and doesn’t require a lot of time. Remember, making your childhood favorites does not always have to be a laborious or a scary process. Just make it with love, and if you mess up, hope there is a good Indian restaurant near you!
- 1 lb. of fresh spinach washed and chopped
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 block of paneer cubed
- 1 tbs of garam masala
- Salt to taste
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tbs. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp hing powder
1. Thoroughly wash the spinach to remove all of the dirt. Then chop.
4. In a pan, heat oil. Once the oil is heated add the hing powder. Once the hing powder sizzles add the cumin seeds. When the seeds sizzle add the onions.
5. Cook the onions until they are almost translucent.
6. Add the spinach and season with: garam masala, salt, a pinch of turmeric, and chili powder. Mix mix mix!