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.


  • 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


  • 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

A Veggies Only Dinner Special

My boy has been showing active interest at nomming on my bowl of warm stir-fried veggies. He seems to like the texture of the seasoned par cooked veggies against the bite of the crisp little croutons. So I decided it was time for him to eat his own share of a veggies only dinner.

I seldom do a veggies only meal for him since typical Indian meals consist of curried vegetables eaten with a chapati/roti and finished off with some dal (lentil) rice. It’ll be stir-fry veggies or warm salads with soups on days we don’t want to go traditional. So naturally, I was pretty happy when he took well to his meal without creating a fuss.

On the menu:

  • Bottle gourd & red pumpkin soup with celery garnish
  • Stir-fried veggies topped with a sweet mustard dressing and croutons


Bottle gourd and Pumpkin soup


  • One part bottle gourd, skin removed and chopped
  • One part red pumpkin, chopped (note: The quantity of ingredients I take depends on the quantum of soup I want to make)
  • 1 Teaspoon ghee
  • Pinch of garam masala (optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Chopped celery leaves for garnish


  • In a sauce pan sauté the bottle gourd and pumpkin
  • Add in the condiments
  • Splash in a little water to cook the veggies
  • Add in a cup of water and bring to a quick boil
  • Take it off the gas and once cool, blend to a smooth consistency
  • Pour back into a container and add water until you’ve reached the desired consistency
  • Bring to a boil and adjust the salt level according to preference
  • Garnish with celery
  • Serve warm


Stir-fried veggies:


Select the veggies of your choice and chop to the desired size. I chose the following:

  • Mushrooms
  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Red pepper
  • Yellow pepper
  • Spinach
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Olive oil


  • In a pan sauté the garlic in olive oil until soft
  • Add in the veggies in the order of their cooking time (slowest to the fastest)
  • Fry until fully soft or par-cooked, however your toddler prefers it. Also, I sautéed the mushrooms and wilted the spinach separately and then added them to the rest of the mix. 
  • Season as per taste
  • Turn off the gas
  • Splash in the desired amount of dressing of your choice
  • Top off with cheese and mini croutons
  • Serve warm


Sweet mustard dressing


  • Yoghurt, whisked and thinned to desired consistency. Thick for dips and sandwich fillers, thin for salads, stir-fries etc.
  • Olive oil
  • Chopped garlic chives or garlic finely chopped
  • Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
  • A small quantity of mustard paste


  • Combine all ingredients until you have a smooth dressing like consistency

Use as:

  • Salad dressing
  • Wraps dressing
  • Sandwich filler dressing
  • Dip