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 tasted hummus (and can now gulp down bowls of it!) a mere 10 years ago. In Canada. Yes, strange 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 now swear by. Till today, it’s one of the few ways I will eat spinach without a gun on my head.
So today, as I was scanning my fridge and freezer, thinking of what to make for dinner, my eyes set upon the block of frozen spinach lying there, bought only a few days ago. And what do you know, the rest as they say, is history!
Prep time: 15 min | Cooking time: 15-20 min | Serves: 4
2 tbsp light cooking oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
500 gms fresh spinach, steamed and pureed
400-500 gms of Paneer, cut in 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup plain yogurt, beaten fine
salt, to taste
water as needed
Heat oil in a deep non-stick pan and fry onions and ginger-garlic paste till fragrant and lightly browned. Add in spices and fry for a few seconds. Stir in tomato and cook till it begins to pulp.
Mix in spinach puree and cook covered on low heat for 4-5 minutes till it starts to bubble. Add in paneer and yogurt, stirring well to blend in. Cook for another 4-5 minutes till paneer is cooked through. Add in some water if you’d like a thinner consistency.
Season with salt and allow it to come to a boil.
NOTE: For a vegan version, substitute paneer with firm tofu and use dairy-free yogurt instead.