A Venture in Adventure

Even great cooks don’t eat it all, sometimes! I am a very picky eater. Yes, strange as it may seem to you, it’s true. Up until a while ago, I wasn’t even adventurous with my palate. I would stick to flavours I understood and forgo the rest. Part of my reasoning on whether or not I would enjoy a dish, came from how it looked.

Palak Paneer

Being born and bred in the Arabian Gulf, everyone simply assumes I am the Guru when it comes to Mid-Eastern fare. But, in fact, I’ve only had hummus (and can now gulp down bowls of it!) for about 2-3 years now. In Canada. Yes, strange again, I know, but also true! You see, when we were growing up, hummus was almost a weekly guest at our table. My parents and siblings loved it, and relished every mouthful. I, on the other hand, thought it to be gooey (my husband would scorn with gooey not being a word!), and hence, never dared to give it a try.

But since being with Hubby Dear, the adventurous soul that he is, I’ve begun to mellow down a lot. It was with him that I took my first scoop of hummus, and decided, that though being gooey, I quite liked it. In fact, now it very easily makes it”s way into my kitchen every week!

Ever since I’ve started this blog, I’ve begun cooking things that I normally wouldn’t. I now see my weekly grocery trips as a chance for me to explore and learn. I pick up veggies that I would run away from and try and create new ways of enjoying it.

When we were growing up, spinach was one such vegetable that I would often hide from. I would cry and cry until my Mom got tired enough to allow me to leave it aside. Then I moved to India and was introduced to a dish I can swear by. Till today, it’s one of the few ways I would eat spinach without a gun on my head.

So today, as I was scanning my fridge, thinking of what to make for dinner, my eyes set upon the lonely bunch of spinach lying there, bought only a few days ago. I decided to tackle it head on. And what do you know, the rest as they say, is history!

PALAK PANEER
INDIAN COTTAGE CHEESE IN A SPINACH-BASED SAUCE


Prep time: 20 min, Cooking time: 15 min | Serves: 4  

  • 1 large bunch of fresh spinach
  • 500 gms of Paneer, cut in 1-inch cubes and fried till brown
  • 1 medium-sized onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small tomato, finely chopped
  • 1-inch sized ginger, sliced
  •  
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp plain yoghurt
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tbsp light cooking oil
  • BOIL spinach leaves, and once cooled, grind into a fine puree with ginger.

    HEAT oil in a deep pan and fry cumin and coriander seeds till they start to sizzle. Add onions and tomatoes and fry till oil begins to separate. Add salt, red chilli powder and coriander powder and cook for another minute.

    ADD pureed spinach, yoghurt and paneer. Stir to coat paneer pieces well and cover cook for 5-10 minutes, adding water as necessary.

    Serve with warm fluffy rotis and a side of spicy mango pickle.

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