Go green with spinach

06 Jun

Circa 2003. Those were early days of blogging and Route 79 was one of those early blogs that I use to read regularly. Written by a second generation Indian from Britain, he used to write about myriad topics including food. He chronicled a lot of authentic Punjabi recipes coming straight from his kitchen and were not as oil-masala loaded as the restaurant dishes. Given our love for spinach (spinach masiyal, the South Indian preparation of spinach is a staple in our house), it is no wonder that we love Saag and I never quite mastered the art of making it, till I found the fool-proof way in Route 79’s kitchen. I have made this recipe several times and it has turned out well every single time without any mishaps. This is my entry for Your Recipe Rocks event started by Madhu for this month.

1 bunch of spinach leaves
1-2 green chillies (depending on the heat), chopped
1 medium sized onion, chopped
Paneer, about 10-12 small cubes
1″ piece of ginger, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1.5 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp jeera
1 tsp turmeric powder
1-2 tsp of salt (based on taste)
1 tsp of oil

Clean, roughly chop and cook the spinach leaves and green chillies with water for about 30-40 mins. You can do a combination of greens too, if you like, instead of just spinach. I have tried spinach and chard / kale, and it turns out just the same. Using immersion blender (if you have one, else regular blender will work just fine), blend the mixture well.

Mix cornmeal with water and add this to the blended spinach and cook it for another 20-30 minutes.

In the meantime, saute onion, garlic and ginger in oil with turmeric over medium heat. Pound the coriander seeds and jeera in a mortar and pestle, to make a coarse powder of the same. Add this powder to the onion mixture, as well as paneer and let them shallow-fry for about 10 mins over low heat.

Add the sauteed mixture to the simmering spinach, let it cook together for about 5 minutes.

For a slightly richer taste, add 1 tbsp (or more) butter to the simmering spinach.

This is also my first entry using the secret ingredient (cornmeal) that Madhu sent me for the Arusuvai Friendship chain started by Latha Aunty.


Posted by on June 6, 2008 in Cooking, Desi


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

20 responses to “Go green with spinach

  1. Maggie

    June 6, 2008 at 4:02 AM

    Yipee πŸ™‚ first to comment πŸ™‚
    A DEFINITE secret ingredient i have found to work wonders in palak paneer and with aaloo sabjis is kasuri methi πŸ™‚ Not only is it good for you but its reallllllllly authentic tasting too.
    I have a slight variation to the above prep –
    jeera, ginger, garlic, greeen chillies, onion (saute these) – add tomato , garam masala, coriander powder, kasuri methi (3 tbsp) and saute , add the spinach – cook well – blend – add the fried/plain paneer , butter, little chilli powder, salt – simmer – IT ROCKS πŸ™‚

    Kasuri methi in aloo sabjis and kadai preparations is outstanding – not so much about palak. Next time, try adding nutmeg powder with any kind of spinach preparation (masiyal to saag to lasagna) – it is will kick it up a notch πŸ™‚ – A-kay

  2. Suganya

    June 6, 2008 at 7:33 AM


    Please correct the link to Route 99’s kitchen. Currently it is directing to
    I enjoy reading ur blog. Kudos gal!

    Fixed the error. Thanks Sugan – love to see you here πŸ™‚ – A-kay

  3. Uma

    June 6, 2008 at 2:18 PM

    Wow, looks so colorful! delicious gravy!

  4. easycrafts

    June 6, 2008 at 10:51 PM

    Beautiful green colour

  5. m's mom

    June 7, 2008 at 10:17 PM

    Hi Akay
    Sorry for interrupting
    i’ve made the sweet & sour Mango pickle for this yr ;I thot i’d measure all the ingredients this time properly ,so that I can post it in ur blog,so that I can refer myself next yr πŸ™‚
    fibreless dessert variety mangoes–1 kg(unripe ,with well formed hard stones,pared& slicedwith the outer hardshell of the stone)
    sugar or jaggery-eual in wt to the sliced mangoes
    4 cms ginger,sliced
    chillipowder to taste–approx 2 tsps
    100 to 120 ml of vinegar
    3 tablespoons of salt
    whole spices—4 cloves,3 cms cinnamon(broken)10 to 12 pepper corns,2 bay leaves,2 tsps kalonji seeds(onion seeds)
    1tsp turmeric powder(optional)
    Mix sugar & vinegar,cook on low heat untilthe sugar dissolves.Add sliced mangoes and the all the ingredients with the whole spices.
    cook,stirring to the jelly consistency though
    the mango slices are firm & whole.
    Thank Akay for thw space :yahoo:

  6. Medhaa

    June 8, 2008 at 12:24 AM

    wow, I too Posted this yesterday. I love this Palak Paneer, this is what we call it.

  7. White On Rice Couple

    June 8, 2008 at 10:54 AM

    I love spinach!! :yahoo: It makes me so happy :-)) healthy :fit: and green :agree: !
    I need to get jeera? That’s a new spice to me. Thanks! Will look for it next week!

  8. Madhuram

    June 8, 2008 at 11:57 AM

    Good one Akay. Thanks for sending it to the event and also for using the secret ingredient. This is the first time I’m coming across this method of adding cornmeal.

    My mother is coming here on the 18th of this month.

  9. Mitr

    June 9, 2008 at 1:05 AM


    adding cornmeal to this is new to me, wondering if it makes a significant difference in taste. I’ve thought this to be too bland at times.

  10. Happy Cook

    June 9, 2008 at 2:43 AM

    Wow beautiful colour and lovely dish

  11. Lakshmi

    June 11, 2008 at 10:47 PM

    Happy Birthday Dearest A! Wish you a lot of happiness and success!


  12. anamika

    June 11, 2008 at 11:33 PM

    Happy Birthday, Akay! Saw Laksh’s post and hopped over here to wish you a great day and great year ahead! BTW, I am reading a book inspired by you..The Mango Season! Nice knowing you!

  13. Me

    June 12, 2008 at 1:38 AM

    happy bday AK

  14. Bavani

    June 12, 2008 at 4:56 AM

    Happy Birthday πŸ™‚ – hope this year brings you much more happiness and peace than ever.

  15. UL

    June 12, 2008 at 12:07 PM

    Birthday wishes from my end too, hope you had a wonderful one.. take care, UL

  16. Spillay

    June 12, 2008 at 1:54 PM

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! Wishing you a lovely day and a wonderful year ahead!!! :gift:

  17. Deepa Palat

    June 12, 2008 at 7:19 PM

    Hi A-Kay or just the plain A, belated B’day wishes, came to know abt ur B’day from Laksh’s post. So thought of wishing you many more happy returns.

  18. m's mom

    June 12, 2008 at 9:31 PM

    Akay,Many Ashirvaadams on ur B’day

    I really expected a B’day bash i ur blog
    was waiting for some nice post
    Anyway hope to c u soon on line

  19. Manchus

    June 13, 2008 at 3:47 PM

    Happy Birthday AK!!Hope you had a wonderful time today and years to come. Looking forward to seeing more delicious blogs πŸ™‚

  20. A-kay

    June 15, 2008 at 10:42 AM

    Thank you everyone for the wishes. I am truly touched by all your wishes.


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