When Carolyn and I traveled around India a million years ago, we were temporarily vegetarians. Rumor had it that sticking to vegetables decreased your chances of Delhi Belly. The experiment failed. However, if there is one country to be a vegetarian in, it’s India. One of my favorite dishes was Palak Paneer. It’s mellow and comforting in the same way lasagna is. I finally got around to making it and now have one more vegetarian dish firmly in the rotation.
Cut 12 ounces of paneer into ½ inch cubes and brown in a tablespoon of butter. Sautee two chopped onions until they are soft. Add 3 chopped garlic cloves, one tablespoon of grated ginger, a generous pinch of turmeric and one tablespoon of a spice mixture made up of the following: cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, cardamom, and cloves. If you have at least 3 of those, it will be tasty.
Cook for a few minutes and then add 1 ½ pounds of spinach. Frozen spinach actually works great in this recipe but if you use fresh spinach, chop it very finely. Once the spinach is wilted, add something creamy. Some recipes call for yogurt, milk or buttermilk. I happened to have a bit of cream cheese and some milk so I added a bit of both. Toss in the paneer and squeeze a fresh lemon over it. Serve with rice.