Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Palak Paneer

Breakfast: A ridiculously good smoothie; soy milk, oats, banana, flax and papaya. Sound strange but it's great!

Lunch: Palak Paneer with rice

Dinner: Stir fried veggies over those awesome fat noodles

This recipe is for my friends Jameel and Tom, who both requested that it be featured on the blog. Tom apparently lived on this stuff when he was training in India, and gets the wild eyes of a madman whenever the suggestion of more palak paneer is bandied about. It's also the only way to appease him when he's been dragged around Auckland on a hot day with no apparent agenda.

I should say that palak paneer is not traditionally made with ricotta. In India it is made with the paneer of its name, which is a type of cottage cheese. However, if you're not lucky enough to be slurping up the curries in Indica, ricotta is a fine substitute - especially if you've made it yourself!

You'll need:
(Feeds 4)
1 1/2 - 2 cups ricotta cheese - home-made is best!
5-6 cups fresh spinach
2 tbsp sour cream
1 onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
2 small red chilis, diced
1 inch piece of ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
fresh coriander

Fry the onion, garlic, chilis, ginger, cumin, ground coriander and turmeric until the onion is browning
Add in the spinach and sour cream and stir
Cook for 5 minutes until the spinach is mostly wilted
Allow this mixture to cool, then put it all into a blender with the tomato and fresh coriander
Blend to a paste
Fry the ricotta with a little onion until it's starting to brown
Stir in the spinach paste and cook for ten minutes, stirring well
Serve with rice or naan bread!

This is a really creamy, satisfying curry with lots of iron from the spinach and calcium from the cheese. But who eats curry for the nutrition, really? It tastes amazing. Just don't eat too much!

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