Monday, May 16, 2011

Popeye was right……….Spinach is good for you

Popeye the comic strip character - got instant boost of power/energy from eating cans and cans of spinach when he needed to duke it out with Brutus or other sailormen, or just to deal with grandma or his “girlfriend” Olive oyl.

The truth is that spinach has loads of iron thus making it an energized food {more hemoglobin content in your blood means more oxygen delivered to your vital organs}. So in other words I need to help myself to some serious amounts of greens to help me better cope with my life….………read on!

Just in case any of you are interested, {I know writing this blog is like I am starring in my own movie that NO one is watching} I’d like to blame two things for my lack of blogging {though there are more than enough excuses to pass the blame onto - I’ll stick to just a few to make this post short}.

1. Lack of sufficient/efficient household help, yup its true. As the beloved said, R you’ve had it good for a while now so don’t complain………….alas the cook and full time help are long gone and poor ole me has to do most of the domestic chores! Unfortunately cooking food, photographing the dish and then blogging about it does not make it on my “top 50” list of things to do for the day.

2. My new found love for Dish network {satellite TV} – the package we{I} bought {includes everything but the kitchen sink} and they feature channels in “popular” regional Indian languages like Marathi, Gujarati and Odiya {formerly Oriya} and all these channels have daily soaps, news, and yes EVEN musical reality shows – a MUST watch for me! So as you can see there is very little time left in the day to do the other 48 or so things on my daily chores list!

So enough of the lame excuses and back to Spinach - which can be boring……..but this version of Palak Paneer: Cottage cheese cubes in spiced spinach puree, courtesy my sis R is always a hit. Just a bit of FYI, the afore mentioned sis does not like to cook and rarely does, so acquiring this/a recipe from her makes it even more interesting!

Palak Paneer
2 bags or bunches of spinach leaves, washed and chopped
8-10 oz of paneer, queso fresco, panela, or halloumi, cubed and {shallow fried - optional}
1 medium onion or a handful of shallots finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic
½ inch knob of ginger, peeled
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
2 green chillies
1 cup milk or 2-4 tbsp cream
1 tbsp ghee/butter or oil
Salt to taste

Spice Blend: Lightly roast and powder

2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 inch piece of cinnamon
4-6 cloves
1 tsp black pepper
2-4 pods cardamom

Cook leaves with 2-4 tbsp of water and allow it to cool. Liquidize the cooked spinach, fresh garlic, ginger, chopped tomato, and green chillies. Heat ghee/butter/oil in a large pan and add the chopped onions and allow it to brown. Add the spinach puree, salt and cook on low heat for 10 mins. Add the paneer/cheese cubes, milk/cream, and the spice blend. Allow it to cook for another 5 mins. Serve warm with chappati/bread or cooked rice.
This recipe has been submitted for the event, Veggie/Fruit a month created by Priya M of Mharo Rajathan and hosted by Reshmi of Rasoi.