Spinach with fresh cheese. Women in India make their own fresh cheese. Paneer is now more widely available or you can substitute Ricotta.
- 250 g (8oz) fresh spinach leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves, optional
- 250 g (8oz) panir or ricotta
- oil for deep frying
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1½ cups hot water
- ¼ teaspoon black cumin seeds
- small pinch asafoetida, optional
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup yoghurt
- Put the well washed spinach leaves into a pan with the water that clings to them, add the fenugreek leaves (if used), cover and steam until spinach is soft.
- Drain well and chop finely.
- Cut the cheese into cubes and spread on absorbent paper for a few minutes so that surface moisture is absorbed.
- In a small deep frying pan heat enough oil in which to fry the cubes of cheese.
- Add a tablespoon of ghee to flavour the oil.
- When oil is very hot, fry a handful of cheese cubes at a time.
- Have ready the turmeric stirred into one cup of hot water and when the cheese is pale golden lift out on a slotted spoon and drop into the turmeric water.
- Repeat until all the cheese is fried, leave in the water for about five minutes then drain.
- Heat about two tablespoons of the oil in a saucepan and add the black cumin seeds, asafoetida, coriander, chilli powder and ginger.
- Stir and fry briefly, taking care not to burn the spices.
- Add the spinach and salt and stir for a minute or two, then add about half cup hot water and the sugar.
- Simmer for five minutes.
- Stir the yoghurt until it is smooth, add it to the spinach and stir well.
- Add cheese and simmer for ten minutes longer.
- Serve hot with rice or chapatis.
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