Author Notes: Feeds a crowd:
You can easily swap out what is essentially the freshly ground garam masala for a purchased mix, but it's really easy if you have the ingredients around already. All the spices and the paneer can be found in Indian groceries. Wanna make it vegan? Hella simple! Just sub out the paneer for chickpeas and canned tomatoes for the yogurt (channa saag). Don't like frozen spinach? Use fresh and blanch it before adding it to the blender. Only have baby spinach on hand? Briefly saute after removing the onions, until it turns bright green. This is actually the quickest method, but certainly not the cheapest.
If you're feeling extra fancy, you can make your own paneer too: http://food52.com/recipes/16669-homemade-paneer
Serve with plenty of brown basmati rice and maybe some mango sorbet for desert! —Colleen Rose
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon whole black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
- pinches freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon amchur (dried mango powder)
- chili pepper, to taste
- Add the whole spices (cumin, coriander, black pepper, fennel, cardamom and cloves) to a pan and heat over medium high until fragrant, shaking the pan frequently to avoid burning. Remove from heat and transfer to mortar and pestle.
- Grind into a fine powder, and add cinnamon, turmeric, fenugreek and nutmeg. Set aside.
- 20 ounces frozen chopped spinach (two packages)
- 2 cups paneer, cubed (from about 2, 400g packages)
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste, or 1 tablespoon of each, grated
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Saute the onion and ginger garlic paste in vegetable oil or ghee. Get the onions nice and brown.
- Add spice mixture and stir to coat onions, sauteing until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the frozen spinach and cook through. You can microwave the frozen spinach beforehand to speed things up.
- Transfer spinach mixture to blender or food processor. Blend until mixed through.
- Add yogurt mixture and tomato paste, blend to mix.
- Return the spinach mixture to the pan with the paneer. Stir to coat and cook over medium heat for 10-20 minutes, or until your rice is ready.
- To add the amchur: 5 minutes before you are ready to serve, add the amchur. Amchur is made from dried unripe mangoes, and imparts a sour element without using additional liquid. If added to early, it will slow down the cooking process.
- Add salt and chili powder to taste. Serve with rice.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Cheap Feast