Palak Pa-Not-R

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Palak Paneer might just be my favorite food. It’s basically a thick pureed spinach curry with cubes of Indian cheesy goodness called Paneer. I’m not even really a big dairy fan, I could do without pizza and pasta, but this just a small bit of spicy, curry heaven. It’s not for everyone, but just try it once!  If you don’t like it, I’ll eat your leftovers!

Last night a bunch of my friends and I all got together for dinner, I made a spin off of my favorite dish thinking no one would eat it and I would be able to bring the rest home to eat for dinner the next few nights. To my surprise, everyone really liked it! And there was still enough for me to have some left overs. 🙂

The reason I call my version of Palak Paneer, Palak Pa-Not-R, is because I make it with tofu instead of cheese. True, spinach hasplenty of iron and nutrients on it’s own and that cheese does have a protein component, so maybe it’s not really necessary, but something just seems a little healthier about adding tofu. (Of course, this is breaking one of Michael Pollan’s rules about trying to recreate authentic ethnic foods–for now I’ll pretend he’s only talking about Asian fusion. Plus, he says himself to break the rules sometimes)! Anyway, the recipe for Palak Pa-Not-R is below. Feel free to take it and make it your own, I after all got the original recipe from my cousin but haven’t looked at it since!

 

Palak Pa-Not-R

spinach (depending on how much you want to make, usually 1 or 2 bags is good. Use regular spinach, yesterday I used a big-leaf ground spinach that I thought had a funky dirt taste-no one else seemed to mind though!)

Tofu (or paneer, what ever you want. You can also use haloumi instead, if that’s available to you. I’ve tried Feta, it falls apart when it’s fried, but I suppose you could skip that step.)
1 large onion
2-4 cloves of garlic
ginger
1 green chilli pepper (it’s okay if you don’t have this, I usually don’t use it because i forget to buy it)
Garam Masala (is ideal, but if not use some combination of the following to your liking)
OR curry, corriender, tumeric, ginger, chilli pepper

1. coat the bottom of a pan with oil, let it heat until shimmery. Add in tofu and fry until it’s golden brown. Do this to all sides. When it’s done, let it rest on a paper towel. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. {it’s tofu after all, and unless you’re  of the .01% like myself, you probably don’t like the taste of plain tofu}

2.sautee onions, garlic, and ginger together in the respective order. Do this is a pot rather than a pan, because you will need room to add in the spinach. Add in the spices

3. Add in the spinach. as you can tell from the picture, it will seem like too much at first, but spinach cooks down a lot and you may end up needing more than you think. You should also add a liberal amount of salt at this point, because spinach can get a really weird earthy taste, which NaCl helps to cancel out.

4. Puree ingredients using a blender or a jujjer (also known as an emulsifier)! Add in tofu and serve!!

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