Methi Paratha

Rec Source: Cook @ Heart Blog

I am blessed with some precious gems in my life. One such gem is a Manasi of Cook @ Heart. She is very patient and has helped me countless times with her sound advice, blogging tips and even sat with me for couple of hours at odd times of the clock to help me learn the fine tunings of blogging. When in doubt, my fingers dial her number and help is on my way before even the 911 reach me. This happened to me sometime back when in all enthusiasm I got the bunch of methi /fenugreek leaves, washed and cleaned them and suddenly went blank with what I am doing with those. Like a programmed robot, I speed dialed her number and asked her for the recipe. The good heart that she is, she could have shoved me off by saying see my blog dumb head, but NO she did not do that, she waited on the call, till I had the dough ready, guiding me there and helping me make that nights dinner. It is really amusing that 2 girls who have not yet seen each other and have communicated only via emails/phone calls can bond in such an awesome way!!! Blogging has introduced me to some very unique personalities and am in awe of such people who blog about what they care/love and have  a never give up attitude.This has also been the right push for the lazy Ash to post more regularly.

If you need the recipe, you will have to jump on to Cook@Heart and see what an awesome girl, she is and what amazing food she is whipping up in her kitchen. This is what My methi partathas looked like, and even before I could arrange the sides and think of taking pictures, my kids gobbled the rolls.

Thanks Manasi, for this lovely recipe and for being there for me, whenever I needed you and even when the times you were rushing off somewhere, you waited to answer my doubts and anxieties. You are one of the nine gems in Ashland.

Another series of Thank you's are in order. Special Thanks for Aparna of Square Meals for sharing most of the awards she has earned. She is always kind to think about me.

Renuka of Pinch of Salt also shared this same award with me.

'Liebster' means favorite or dearest in German.
RULES for Accepting
- Thank the person who gave the award and link back to their blog.
- Copy and paste the award to your blog.
- Reveal the 5 blogs you have chosen to award and let them know by commenting on their blog.
- Hope they pass it forward by accepting and awarding it to bloggers

These are the rules, but as I said again, there are way too many gems in Ahsland to pick few and leave some, I am sharing it with you all. Simply leave me a comment and I will pass it on to you.



Celebrating Gudhi Padwa with Shrikhand

Gudi Padwa means start of  a new year and spring in Marathi Calenders. This day is one of the most auspicious day and each moment is considered to be holy to start a new venture, investment or employment. Most marathi homes would have the gudhi's displayed in their homes. This is significant to welcome in our home and the new year the peace and prosperity. Since I could not do it here in US, my mom made me this gudhi which I can assemble in less than 5 minutes and use every year. The significance of the gudhi is better explained in this picture.

Wiki Says

Gudhi Padwa (Marathi: गुढी पाडवा, often mis-pronounced as gudi padwa because ढी sounds like डी when spoken), is the Marathi name for the Hindu holiday of Chaitra Shukla Pratipada. It is celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra month to mark the beginning of the New year according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar. This day is also the first day of Chaitra Navratri and Ghatasthapana also known as Kalash Sthapana is done on this day.

Gudhi is kind of flag/usually a green, red or yellow fabric, that is posted on a pole and tied to the window or outside the house.the pole is covered with an inverted kalash, Inside the kalash a dry piece of coconut, some jaggery, some pennies and a need leaf is placed.The ides is that the suns rays will penetrate form the metal and bring out the good qualities in the coconut, neem, jaggery and this is distributed to all members of the household in the evening.This is to protect our health from the spring allergies and change of weather as It really starts warming up in all parts of India after the Holi festival. This is the way my Mom prepared the Gudhi and we all proudly displayed the gudhi's in our building.

Here in US, we made our own small gudhi, just for the significance for my kids and displayed it on the window. For the sweet we made Shrikhand. I have said before also, that some festivals are related to the sweet we eat on that day, some families eat various or different sweets but more or less, we stick to the basics, like 
Sankrant=Gul Poli/Tila chay Wadya
Holi=Puran Poli; 
Gudhipadwa= Shrikhand

This is the only time I go through the traditional process and no shortcuts while making it. I forgot to take pictures of the chakka/hung yogurt to prepare shrikhand at home, but you will see that it is fairly easy to understand.

You will need;
2 lb hung yogurt;
**I get the 2 lb greek yogurt box and tie it in  a cotton cloth over  banana holder and let the whey drip overnight., the chakkka/hung yogurt is ready to be made into some shrikhand.
2 cups sugar
1tsp saffron strands
1tbspn nuts powder or milk masala
1tsp Elaichi or cardamom powder.

The hung yogurt can be sieved or used without sieving. Soak the saffron in 2tbspn warm milk. You need not do this, but this would give nice the shrikhand a nice yellow color. I preferred to keep the saffron out this time. Mix in the sugar, nuts powder and saffron strands which is soaked in 2tbspn warm milk  and mix well. the shrikhand is ready to be served with piping hot pooris. But since we are not into frying foods at home now, for health reasons, I served shrikhand with some comfort food, of potato bhaji, poli and masala bhat( spiced rice).

This is what my lunch plate looked like. Hope you will join me for a simple lunch next time.


Bowling Pins Birthday cake- with homemade White Chocolate Fondant

I have been asked to make some cakes by none other than a few 8 year olds. Once they know they can have a theme based cake which not many can have from a grocery store, they have been asking me to come up with  a few cake ideas. This was for my sons best friend who turned 8 years old. They had  a bowling bday party. The kids freaked out at the bowling alley, thanks K for the party, they had a rolling time shooting the pins and at times falling when lifting the heavy balls.
Everything on this cake is edible. I made the track with marbleized effect, bowling balls and pins from modelling white chocolate or white chocolate fondant as it is commonly known. This cake would be special for me, as I learned  a new thing about the modeling chocolate and how great it tastes when compared with Fondant. You will be seeing a lot of models from this magic product on this blog now on. I drew the pins in 2 sizes free hand on paper, then laminated that sheet and then cutting it out, to use as a template for my pins. Hope you all like my efforts for this cake.

For the white chocolate fondant Click here

I needed to make  a 10 inch cake and about 12 cupcakes, so my prep with the white chocolate fondant looked like this.

Just coz I was so thrilled at the successful attempts, one more click,

There is no recipe as such for the cake, I made from the box, for the lack of time and convenience the boxed mixes offers to me. Whip me for using the boxed mix, but what a lazy girl to do!!

 The icing is whipped cream pudding icing.

** Whipped Cream icing can be made by using simply Heavy Whipping Cream and Conf Sugar,, The Rec is as

One Cup heavy Whipping Cream
Half Cup Conf Sugar
**One packet Instant pudding mix. OR
IF desired One Packet Unflavored Gelatin dissolved in water.

Take a bigger bowl and keep some ice cubes in that.. Over the cubes place anr bowl. Take one cup cream and add sugar and Pudding mix( if needed )... and beat with electric mixer for about 5-7 mins on medium till soft peaks are on the blade. The icing is ready.

Since I cannot stop at just one, I added the dozen cupcakes with the pins as cupcake toppers. The kids loved the pins and before the cake they pins were gobbled by  a bunch of 8 year olds, requesting 2 pins be added to the cake next time onwards.



Puran Poli-- Holi Special-Back to my roots

March brings along with it two major festivals in a Marathi calender.First comes Holi where all old and negative is burnt and new is welcomed with a burst of colors. Holi time is the time to bring the mischief and naughtiness in ones life. Be it old or young, all join in the color game. As with all festivities, no event is complete with the special food on the table. Holi Time is though reserved for Puran Poli. We even had  a little song assigned for puran poli and holi day. The race began the night before the color day, which is after the holi day.  All plans were made and all jobs were assigned to each member of the gang. We had one in charge of the  balloon and water, one who would make fake calls and get all kids down. Whoever was the unlucky one to be the last one coming out of his house was the one with most color. This was the day, we kept reserved for settling tabs as no one would ever get in trouble for coloring someones face, hands or any part of the body. My Mom was the only one left with no color on her and she always counted the time and things she needed to get done after we came home.She prayed continuously on Holi day that her home be spared with color. We had guests almost all weekends and festival days. Not one festival was spared when we did not have any one for lunch or dinner. So she took extra care for spreading fresh linens and sheets on beds, changing cushion covers and we came home with a riot of color.I can only imagine the terror she must have gone through all the growing years that we played holi colors. The young lovers and teens had special arrangements on Holi to color their most cherished person and all was OK on that day; at least they thought so, until one of us saw that and later used that for the regular free supply of goodies. So in many ways Holi and color bring back fond memories of my lost childhood.Here in US, Holi is a quiet affair, People play color in backyards or someones home. My elder son was lucky to play it a couple of times.

Prep Time; 10 mins
Cook Time; 2 hours
makes: 20-25 Roti's of 8 inches approx.

you will need
For the Puran;

3 cups Chana Dal
2 cups Gul or Jaggery
1 cup sugar
Or Use 3.5 cups Jaggery alone

In apressure cooker, add the washed dal and 7-8 cups water. Pressure cook for abt 7 whistles. let cool. once cool, strain the dal so that all water is separated and the dal is dry.  Now take this cooked dal in the same cooker pan, and run this cooked dal through the stick blender till you get the dal pureed and add gul and sugar. On low heat, cook this till the mixture starts leaving sides and starts sticking to the spoon. Keep stirring this from the time you put it on heat. You will reach a point when your arms will talk to you. The mixture will look dry and The spoon if made to stand will stand on it's own....your puran is done...

for the cover;

For the cover:
2 cups Flour/Atta
2 cups All purpose Flour
Salt to taste
Generous Oil..and water..Around Half cup oil would be good enough.

Knead the dough like regular roti...cover with liberal amount of oil.. keep aside for 2 hrs. Then alternating with a tsp of oil and water knead it into  a soft dough. The dough should not be sticky but should be stretchy.

To Make the poli,
Make balls of puran and the dough and then like stuffed parathas, make the poli's....on a medium heated tava, cook the poli well... When eating apply ghee and serve with warm milk. Or make Katachi Amti.

Pictorial as follows

Boiled dal

Dal processed through a stick blender and jaggery dissolved in the mashed dal

Sign that the puran is cooked.If the wooden spoon stand son its own in the center, Puran is done.
All cooled and ready to be rolled into  a few poli
Make equal balls of the puran and the atta.

Get Set Go..

Puran Poli Roasting on  a hot Tawa.
Ready to eat. They stay well in room temperature for 3-4 days or on fridge for upto 2 weeks.



To each his own.

"Be the change that you want to see" and "Charity begins from home" are a few of the quotes that are brainwashed on our minds and written on thoughts of the day boards in school. We grew up reading and trying hard to understand how they can be implemented in our sorry lives. The teachers took pains in making us learn the words the meanings we hardly understood, implementing them would be far as a stone. Seriously do we need the things we learn in schools? I am a great supporter of education specially education for women and young girls, but what needs to be done is teaching life skills to survive on those skills if god forbid we need them to support our lives. The main aim in any good Indian house is getting a couple of degrees, then joining the job force and grinding till the retirement age and retiring to a hefty pension or savings to live the rest of our life on. But what about the life skills like cooking, sewing or even do it your own jobs. These are just the tip of the ice berg I want to see the changes in. Start small and go big is my way of getting around the issues. Plant a seed, grow  a tree, do stuff with your kids that they will appreciate, buying a X Box seems pretty cool, but try playing it with them also.

'Be the change Contest" from Indiblogger has once again given me the motivation to write my thoughts and raise my voice on smaller things that bother me a s a MOM and a human being.

We Indians call ourselves free and liberal from age old myths and traditions, yet are we OK with actually sharing the apartment building with a taxi driver, or a Janitor? We say we no longer believe in castes and caste based professions, yet when our kid decides to marry into another caste, we raise hue and cry and blame the next gen for all wrong happening in our society. First and foremost thing to be changed is how we think and how we react. I realized when I landed in  the USA as  a newly married wife, that we as Indians are generally so judgmental of the others that we forget that the basic principle of any relationship or friendship is Mutual Respect. When my son started daycare, he came home one day and told my mom that his best friends is an American with  half french half Chinese background. It took some time for us to realize that it is an individual identity that the kid has by adopting half of each cultures from each parent. Another jolt for my poor mom was when he mentioned another kid with 2 moms and no dad. It was all OK in this culture and we never winked any eyebrows or passed nasty stares when we met their parents. When I moved to my newer town, one of my neighbor was a Limo Driver and another was a psychiatrist. I was amazed at the diversity and the kind of life this society offered to me. This got me thinking Would I be so proud about this had I been In India. I would have bragged that my neighbor is one of the big shot doctor, and yet wisely hidden the fact that another was a mere Limo Driver. Would I have been comfortable of letting my kids mingle with the drivers kids? Are we surely liberal in all that we do today???

Another thing that stung me bad was the attitude we as Indians have. We want to make friends thinking of all the benefits we can extract from that relation. How much we give is not important as how much can we get back? Selfishness is growing leaps and bounds and there is no stopping this monster. It first starts with colleagues and pulling legs in office, taking credit for others work, slowly it crawls to our homes. We abuse our old parents leave them out under the name of Stress. How easy it is for us to throw them out like  a pair of old clothes or sneakers. Have we thought of the age old saying "Reap what you Sow", is this the kind of India we saw grew up in? Where is the humbleness, politeness gone? How many of us get up in  a crowded train/bus and offer seat to an ailing aged or handicapped?

If I were to change a few things,I would start with the moral ethics of all Indians and humans in general.What is not mine is not mine..period.. it cannot get simpler than this...if a 2 year old can understand this, why do we as adults find it so hard to digest? When we see someone in difficulty, why do we say, To each his own and not try and help that person? Are we so aloof as humans that we cannot share a drop of tear with anyone. "I am Busy" has  a new meaning as I do not want to there for you.

Making a few minor changes that can make major differences in the society  we live in. I am, not aiming at bigger changes  to change the country, but smaller ones to make  a huge difference. After all what am I, But just a Mom!!!

This post is written for the contest and if you are a part of the Indiblogger please vote for me and also like
Time to change facebook page 



Doll Cake

I made this cake for a friends one year old's birthday. I had made a doll cake before, so I had the basic idea of how the cake needs to be done, but wanted this to be one of my best works, so put in the extra work of making the dress. As usual. I used the starburst candy to make the halter dress, but the dress stuck to the doll and it looked like a glam doll, so made the stole with the handmade rose broach. Now my doll was more fit for a one year's birthday.

For the crowd I use the boxed cake mix, as it never fails and cuts the work in half. I added mango puree instead of water to add in the Mango Flavor. The icing is whipped cream pudding icing.

** Whipped Cream icing can be made by using simply Heavy Whipping Cream and Conf Sugar,, The Rec is as
One Cup heavy Whipping Cream
Half Cup Conf Sugar
**One packet Instant pudding mix. OR
IF desired One Packet Unflavored Gelatin dissolved in water.

Take a bigger bowl and keep some ice cubes in that.. Over the cubes place anr bowl. Take one cup cream and add sugar and Pudding mix( if needed )... and beat with electric mixer for about 5-7 mins on medium till soft peaks are on the blade. The icing is ready.
Pictoral is as follows;

I had no clue of making any hairstyles, I guess having short hair has made me incompetent of making any hairstyles, and having 2 boys does no help in this department, yet I tried and it looked okay.

The skirt was the most that made me happy. I wanted to perfect the rosettes and it was on my mind long enough to put them on the cake, and my friend gave me the opportunity. She gave me absolutely no conditions or terms of how she wanted the cake to be, all she said was make a doll cake as and like your wish. I am very thankful to her for this opportunity, and would love making cakes for her doll as many times as I can.
One last look at the doll. I apologize for the final picture. But it was only in the evening that I was able to take the picture of the doll cake all assembled and ready to shine at the party. Hope you all also appreciate my efforts.



Whole Wheat Chutney Pizza

Who does not love Pizza. It has become the universal food, you can go to any corner of the earth and you will find Pizza. The toppings and seasonings are widely changed and localized, but some form of pizzjhaa( Yes that's what we called when we were young and relatively new to pizza) is always found. Pizza was introduced to the Indian counterparts somewhere in the 1987-1990. Believe it or not there were no Pizza-huts or domino's churning out the pizzas but local restaurants mostly south Indian Udipi owned were making them in their unique style. Monginis bakers were the local bakeries in Mumbai, where we all went to when we had birthdays and got our cake, sometimes if we got lucky a puff pattice to satisfy the bottomless pit we called tummy. Monginis always had the pizza bases and they sold it in packs of 4. Perfect for pan size pizzas, only if we had the know how... The local udipi guy always knew hoe to make the pizza we we just went in and ordered the fix.. the sauce was regular ketchup, and he would have beat us if we dared says pizza had different sauce. he slathered the ketchup on the base, had cut discs of capsicum, tomato and onions and the good old Amul cheese grated and baked till cheese melts. My mom tried the same version many a times, somehow the outside pizza by that udipi chef was always cherished in our little minds.

The way he makes the pizzajah is same till recently, when I went to Mumbai and my mom promised my kids the pizzajah their mom loved. TO her horror my kids refused to call it a pizza, then even refused that it belonged to any pizza family. Finally, she gave in and took them to the nearest Dominos and treated them to  a cheese pizza the one they are familiar with. She even remarked that she got lucky with us as we ate the good old pizzajah that cost her Rs, 60 instead of the Domino pizza she spend double the amount on. 

We now have regular pizza parties at home in US. MY son and his friends who love their pizza enjoy making their own pizzas and eating them. At times their mom say they eat the veggies that they do not at their homes, just coz it's on the pizza they made themselves. My Indian twist to the regular American pizza is spreading my green chutney on it. The chutney gives a different twist and tang to the whole pizza and it does taste superb.

For the dough,

Prep Time; 10 mins to mix the dough
2-3 hours for the dough to rise
10-12 mins for first bake 
Makes 2 Thin crust Pan pizzas and 1 Thin crust medium  pizza.

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup All Purpose flour
1 Tbspn dry active Yeast 
1 Tbspn Sugar and 1/2 cup warm water to bloom the yeast

1 Tsp Dried Rosemary
1/2 tsp Dried Basil
1 Tsp Garlic powder
1 Tsp Oregano
 1 Tsp red Chili Flakes
2-3 Tbspn Olive Oil and 
Salt for taste
water as needed to make the dough

In a bowl, take the dry active yeast, sugar and warm water and mix well. Keep it aside to bloom for 10 minutes. The mixture will be frothy, if the yeast is active. If the yeast is old discard the mixture and get fresh yeast. I always prefer to check the yeast then move on to the dough.

In a mixing bowl, take the flour, add the seasonings, garlic powder, rosemary, basil, oregano and little oil to start the mixing, as you move along making the dough, add the oil and knead into a soft dough. Cover with the plastic wrap and let it sit in  a warm place. I preheat the oven to 200 Degree F and then shut it off. Then place the bowl with the dough to rest and rise for a good 2-3 hours. I have never experienced problems with dough rising not enough and I only poof the bread once.

When the dough doubles in size, it is ready to be baked into some yummy pizzas. Punch out the air from the dough and take small balls and roll it into small discs. I usually bake these pizzas for 10-15 mins in a pre-heated oven at 350degrees F. Once the base is baked, spread the chutney on it, then spread the pizza sauce(I use the store brought kind), then add the toppings of your choice.

We like red and green peppers, broccoli, onions and at times even pineapple. Spread mozerralla cheese as much or as little as you want and bake at 350 degrees for another 10-12 minutes, till the cheese melts. You can steam the broccoli for 3-4 minutes, it tastes great.

Enjoy the home made pizzas and cherish the memories with your kids. Today is Women's Day, so this is my gift to all the busy, idle, working or home making women. We Rock!!!!

Sending this to Sizzilings Tastebuds Bake Fest event originally started by Vardhini's Bake Fest
And Yay..what a surprise, thanks Julie... u r the best!!!



Poached Egg Curry

My elder munchkin and myself love eggs in all forms, be it half fried, sunny side up or scrambled, we love it. Not so much for Mr. Ash and the younger munchkin. They run away form eggs and their sight. But this si one curry that they both also love to dig in with us and making it  a battle for the curry in Ashland. They start with comparing the bowls and measuring tablespoons for each. Weird I know, we all are weird when it comes to food. We are smart in choosing our battles well. And yes for your information, 4 Year olds can put a defense so well that if I put it on you tube it will spread like virus on FB.

This is one and only egg curry that is family approved in Ashland. Mr.Ash probably like sit because it has coconut milk and that make this curry unique. I make this on the nights when Mr. Ash travels for work and I am alone with kids for diner. IT was NOT intentional that it happened when it did make an appearance but it was a rough day at work and I was tired to the bone to whip up a cool dinner to make daddy's absence a little less. So I had made it a couple of times and it happened to be on those days that Mr. Ash was traveling. Doe sit seem like I am giving reasons, well I try!!!

He had heard so many things about this curry that he requested that I kindly make it for him. I did try keeping the eggs out and using the base curry with potatoes or veggies, but it does not taste even closer so do not do what I did and use eggs.

Prep time; 5-7 mins
Cook Time : 10- 15 mins
Serves 4

You will need;
4-5 eggs
2-3 tbsp Fried onion-- I buy from the Indian store.
2 Big Tomatoes finely diced
2-3 cloves Garlic- crushed
1/2 inch ginger- grated
2 tbspn Thick coconut milk-- canned is great, which I use
2 cupsWater to thin out the gravy and cook the eggs.
1 tspn garam masala
1 tspn red chili powder
1 tspn Cumin and coriander powder
Salt to taste
Cilantro to garnish

1 tspn Oil-- (Fried onion have Oil)
1 tspn Shahjeera/caraway seeeds
1 Green Chili-Slit-Optional

In a wok, heat the oil for tempering on medium heat, add the shajeera and let that sizzle, then add the crushed gloves of garlic and ginger and saute for a minute, then add the onions and the tomatoes and let them cook til the mixture gets cooked and oil starts leaving the sides of the pan, then add the cumin-coriander powder and the red chili powder and add salt, mix well and add the water. Bring this to a small boil and keep stirring. Taste the curry for salt and chili and add if it needs more. Reduce the heat to low and break open the egg in a separate bowl, reason being that if the egg is spoiled, you can discard it and get afresh one. If you directly open it in the pan it will spoil the entire curry. Now start pouring the egg diagonally from each other and do it till you have completed  a circle (if suing 5-6 eggs) of shape X ( if using 4 eggs) of the eggs.

After adding all the 4-5 eggs, cover the pan and let them cook in the boiling water. DO NOT stir the mixture and shake if needed. The eggs will cook in 5-6 minutes and then open the lid. IF needed cook for anr 2-3 minutes. Lastly add the coconut milk and cilantro for garnish and let that simmer for additional 3-4 minutes. The poached egg curry is ready for you to dig in with rice, bread or roti. We are dunkers, so we grab  a slice of bread and dunk it in.

This is a simple yet comforting meal after a tired day or sad day. IT instantly relaxes you and the spices create a happy place.

Sadaf of Culinary adventures has shared an awesome award with me.

'Liebster' means favourite or dearest in German. Rules for accepting the award :
- Thank the person who gave the award and link back to their blog.
- Copy and paste the award to your blog.
- Reveal the 5 blogs you have chosen to award and let them know by commenting on their blog.
- Hope they pass it forward by accepting and awarding it to bloggers
they would like to honour.

Since I cannot be choosy and pick my 5 fav bloggers, this is to all my followers and readers, who have stood by me with their love and affection.



Palak Paneer/ Cottage Cheese in Spicnach garvy

Palak Paneer is one of the most humble recipe for the Punjabi cuisine. IT is made with less spice and less of cream and except for Paneer/Cottage cheese which is a good fat, there is minimum fat in this dish unlike its counterparts like dal makhani, paneer mutter or such cream based gravies. The preparation for palak paneer is simple and yet it stands up to the measure to be included in grand feasts Wehn I was growing up, palak paneer was not made regularly in my home. My mom cooked a Typical Maharashtrian swaypak(cooking) and such things were for eating out.We ate out after our exams were done and vacations started. Kind of relaxation time for all. There was always that soft and yummy Nan to dunk into the subji. Subji choices were also fixed, Navratna korma that had grapes and pineapple, aloo matter and palak paneer. that and Nan basket which had only One garlic nan. End it with chickoo milkshake. The menu card got over in 2 minutes with only 2 pages on it. Wonder if such restaurants will survive in today's age. I by no means belong to ice age, but generally we had few choices and more life to be less confused than we are today. People had  more tolerance then and family time was not the time to count finances. Today the thought of visiting anyone's home for more than few days ripples our brains, we think of cost and expense they will incur to entertain us, feed us.. and like. We spent our childhood vacations at uncle, aunts, grandma's home for months and no one asked how much it cost them. It was all in one family, they kept saying.

Like me my munchkins also love Palak Paneer. Retaining the green color after cooking spinach is the key to success in this dish. The spinach leaves turn dark very soon so cooking them for couple of minutes more than required will kill the green color. The taste will not be changed significantly. Ideally i amke the palak/spinahc paste the day I get them from the grocers. This is easy on my hetcic week as the paste can be used in Parathas, cutlets and even on hot pasta like pesto. The first post this week was Palak Paratha's, so making this week an official spinach week. Popeye will kiss me only if he liked Indian food.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Serves 4

Cook time 10 minutes if you have the palak paste ready.

To make Palak Paste;
1 Bunch spinach leaves or one bag cleaned spinach
4 cups water to blanch the spinach
Salt to taste
Boil water on high heat with salt. Once it comes to a boil, Add the washed, cleaned spinach leaves (. Do not bother to chop the leaves as we will grind them in a grinder to make a fine paste), let them wilt for 2 minutes and take them out. You can dip them in ice water to stop their cooking process or grind it immediately in the grinder. Doing this helps the spinach retain their vibrant green color. You have the paste ready to use.

To make Palak Paneer;

2 cups palak paste
1/2 packet or 10-12 one inch cubes of paneer-- I get cubes of paneer from Indian store.

** TO freshen Up the store brought Paneer I use the tip from my friend Ansh at Spiceroots
She says use 1/2 warm water and 1/2 cup warm milk and soak the cubes in them for 10-15 minutes. Drain and use as needed.

1 small onion-finely diced
1 small tomato diced fine
2-3 cloves garlic mashed
1/2 inch ginger grated
2tspn oil to make the gravy
1tsp Garam Amasala
Salt to taste if needed.--
**Paste has salt

Spray the cubes of paneer with non stick oil spray and fry them on the hot griddle and save them for later.
In a wok. heat the oil, add the onions, ginger and garlic for a minute, add the tomatoes and fry them till they look cooked and sweat a bit, then add the palak paste and the reserved fried paneer. Then lastly add the garam masala and let the mixture heat up a bit. Check for salt and add if needed.. Delicious Palak paneer is ready to be served with any Indian bread.