Lockdown Saviour 2.0: Home Style Palak Paneer

Another lockdown recipe which doubles up for two meals if cooked in a sufficient quantity is Palak paneer.

One can pair it as a subzi with phulkas or mix it with rice turning it into a palak paneer rice dish. It’s easy to make and quite satiating.

Ingredients:

  • Paneer 300gms
  • Palak two medium sized bunches
  • Onions, 2
  • Tomatoes, 2
  • A tbsp. Of filtered groundnut or any cooking oil

For the masala:

  • Whole masalas:
  • Few cloves
  • Few peppercorns
  • A couple of small bay leaves (tejapatta)
  • Jeera
  • A few cardamom pods
  • A piece of cinnamon
  • Cashew, soaked – 6 to 7
  • Ginger, Garlic and Green chilli pounded to a coarse paste
  • Ground/powdered masalas:
  • Dhaniya powder
  • Amchur powder (dry mango powder)
  • Kasuri methi
  • Hing
  • Ground mustard powder (a tiny amount)
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste

Method:

  • Cut paneer into cubes and set it aside
  • Keep aside a large-ish piece to grate into the dish once done
  • Blanch the spinach and set it aside
  • Temper all the Dry whole masalas viz. Jeera, Bay leaves, cardamom etc. and then add the ginger, garlic and green chilli paste
  • Add the soaked cashews and sauté for a minute
  • Add the onions and tomatoes and sauté for a few more minutes
  • Add salt and sugar to taste
  • Add the powdered masalas viz. Dhaniya powder, hing, Amchur and sauté the mix until cooked and mushy, this should take a few more minutes
  • Set it aside
  • In a mixer pop in the cooked masala with the blanched spinach with some water and purée it
  • To a hot wok or kadhai transfer the puréed palak masala and add the cubes paneer
  • Check on the salt and sugar
  • Serve with diced onions and a wedge of lime
  • Enjoy with hot phulkas or rice

Versatile Baked Beans

We absolutely love baked beans, it’s a rare treat for us. Usually I buy store bought beans and put a ‘masala’ spin on it. However, the unavailability of canned product got me experimenting a little.

I figured any beans would do good as long as they were tiny in size. I chose red chowli (aka, black eyed peas). It barely took any pre-prep work apart form soaking the beans overnight and were ready in good time the next day.

These are so versatile because they can be dolloped on steamed rice, made quesadillas with, rolled up into chapatis as frankies, eaten as a dip, had on toast of course. The combinations are limitless!

Here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Red black eyed peas (laal chowli)
  • Tomatoes for puree or use canned tomato puree
  • Garlic
  • Onions, chopped finely
  • Bell pepper of your choice of colour, chopped finely
  • Cumin powder
  • Ginger powder
  • Chilli flakes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Mustard powder
  • A pinch of sugar
  • Green chillies, finely diced (optional)
  • Red chilli flakes (optional)
  • Coriander, finely chopped
  • A little vinegar (white)

Method:

  • Soak the chowli overnight
  • Boil Tomatoes and puree them. If not use canned tomato puree
  • Pressure cook it until its nice and mushy
  • Keep it aside
  • Add olive oil to a sauce pan or skillet and on medium flame add garlic, chillies & onion and saute until the onions go a little soft (I prefer the onions a little crunchy)
  • Add peppers and salute a little more
  • Next add the pureed tomatoes
  • Once the sauce mix is nice and bubbly add the salt, pepper, cumin powder, mustard powder, sugar all to taste
  • Add the mushy chowli and ‘mush’ a wee bit more if required
  • Bring to boil until its all nicely mixed up
  • Add water to bring it to desired consistency
  • Turn off heat after a good boil
  • Garnish with fresh chopped coriander

PS: I sprinkle the red chili flakes only on our share, my children can handle a small hit of heat from the green chillies but the dried red ones will take some time.

Serve warm with your choice of accompaniment.

We had these for dinner followed by breakfast of fried egg on a layer of beans on toast the next day :)

How do you like your beans?