The recipe is my variation of the Indian traditional spinach and paneer (traditional Indian) cheese, to accomodate the fresh beet greens in my garden. Paneer is available at most Indian store, but extra firm tofu can be used in lieu of paneer. The almonds allow me to eliminate the cream used in the recipe, for extra richness some cream can be folded in. For a touch of contract, kale can be added. This adds just a light hint of bitterness. —Rinku Bhattacharya /Spice Chronicles
. Place the almonds in the water and set aside for about 10 minutes. This step can be skipped if you use pre-blanched almonds.
Heat the oil and add in the cumin and coriander powders and cook for a few seconds. Add in the ginger and onion and saute for 2-3 minutes until the onion is tranluscent.
Add in the spinach, beet green and tomatoes and mix well. Turn the heat to low and cover the pot and let the greens wilt. This process takes about 5 minutes.
In the meantime, peel the almonds.
Turn off the heat, you should have the spinach and beet greens wilted, with some water released from both the spinach and the tomatoes. Stir in the salt and red chili powder and let the mixture cool just a little.
Place the spinach and the almonds into the blender and blend for 2-3 minutes until the spinach is very smooth.
Place this mixture back into the pot and stir in the paneer or tofu and cook through. Cut the lime and squeeze the juice over the spinach mixture.
Stir in the cilantro and the garam masala (if using).