Seasonal local food recipe No.225 – Spinach with Indian cheese

This is from Quick Vegetarian Curries by Mridula Baljekar.  It is a favourite of mine when we have friends round for a curry.  If you can’t get hold of Indian paneer it is just as good made with halloumi cheese.

Photo: Heath Bass

Serves 4

Preparation time: 25-30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

2 tbs sunflower oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 small onion, finely chopped
2.5cm cube root ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 tbs ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tin chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1/4-1/2 tsp chilli powder
150g spinach, finely chopped
300ml water
250g paneer, cut into 1cm cubes
175g cooked potatoes cut into 2.5cm cubes (optional)
1/2 tsp garam masala

Heat the oil in a pan over a low heat, add the garlic and stir fry for 1 minute, then add the onion and fry for 5-6 minutes until softened.  Add the ginger, ground coriander and cumin, cook for 1 minute then add the tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add the turmeric, paprika and chilli powder and cook for 30 seconds before adding the spinach and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.  Add half the water and cook for 3 minutes or until the water dries up, tossing and turning the ingredients constantly.  Add the paneer, potatoes if using and remaining water, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, uncovered.  Add a little more water if necessary.  Sprinkle on the garam masala and serve.

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