Dana Slatkin

Healthy Spinach Paneer

Spinach PaneerThis week, I’ve been warming up for my Easy Indian cooking class. Ever since I returned from a trip to India, I’ve wanted to learn how to recreate some of the memorable dishes from my travels. But I was always a bit intimidated by the unfamiliar spices and ingredients.


So I called on my dear friend Supriya, who is one of the most talented cooks I know, to show me a few of her tricks. We spent a morning together, cooking six of her home-style family recipes that we would demonstrate later to my students. My kitchen bloomed with the exotic aromas of ginger and roasted spices. And all at once, my adventures in India came back to me — the pungent scents, the vibrant colors, the lively clamor on the streets, the buttery sunsets.

Don’t be dissuaded, as I was, by the long list of ingredients. The spices can be found at a gourmet or Indian grocery store, or online (one of my favorite resources is Kalustyans), but if you leave something out, it’s unlikely anyone will notice. Paneer is the popular Indian cheese that stands in for meat throughout the country. If you don’t feel like hunting it down, use fresh bite-sized mozzarella balls. In the summer months, I might add fresh corn kernels and, for my vegan friends, tofu and chick peas.

All spice and verve, this dish is the antithesis of bland. And it captures perfectly the spirit of India, which — fortunately — is still splendidly tattooed on my taste buds.

If your Spring fling involves spinach, too, try my Indian-Spiced Spinach Soup with Fried Chick Peas!

Last chance to enter my March cooking contest! Share your favorite way to go green!

  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Add to favorites
  • FriendFeed
  • HealthRanker
  • Live
  • Orkut
  • Tumblr
  • Faves
  • Google Buzz
  • Ping.fm

Please share your thoughts!