I fell in love with a new blog last week, it’s called US Masala. Lots of delicious looking Indian dishes with gorgeous photos. Because I adore creamed spinach AND Indian spices, I immediately wanted to make this Palak Paneer.
Unfortunately, my homemade paneer (fresh cheese) didn’t turn out so stellar and I didn’t have all of the ingredients that were called for in the Palak Paneer recipe, so what I ended up with was basically just creamed spinach with an Indian flare. And I’ll admit, throughout the entire process of making this dish I kept thinking, “oh boy, this isn’t working out…” Until the end when it all magically came together and turned into the best tasting spinach I’ve ever had!
My cost got kind of out of control, so I flubbed there too. To stretch this recipe out further and reduce the cost per serving, you can serve it over rice, or add some cubes of cooked potatoes. The high cost was partly due to the fact that I got a little lazy and picked up half of my ingredients at Whole Foods instead of stopping at my regular grocery store. I definitely could have gotten a better price on some of these items (the tomato, spinach, and onion for example). Lesson learned.
But, I have to say it again, this is the best spinach I’ve ever had. Ever. You just have to get over the fact that it looks like green goop.
NOTE: Many have found this dish to be too spicy. So, I would suggest starting with 1/4 tsp cayenne and adding more at the end to taste.
Indian Style Creamed Spinach
- 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.24
- 1 large yellow onion $0.92
- 2 inches fresh ginger $0.21
- 2 cloves garlic $0.16
- 10 oz. fresh baby spinach $3.74
- ½ tsp sugar $0.02
- 2 tsp cumin $0.10
- 1 tsp garam masala $0.05
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper $0.05
- 1 large tomato $1.36
- ½ tsp turmeric $0.05
- ½ tsp salt $0.02
- 1 cup evaporated milk $1.49
- Add the olive oil and two cloves of garlic (minced) to a large skillet. Peel and grate both the onion and ginger straight into the skillet. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until softened.
- While the onion, ginger, and garlic are cooking, place the spinach in a large pot along with one cup of water and ½ tsp of sugar. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and cook until the spinach is tender (about five minutes). Turn the heat off and allow to cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor or blender (water and all) and pulse a few times to break up the spinach, but do not puree it.
- After the onion, garlic, and ginger have softened, add the cumin, garam masala, and cayenne. Stir and cook for about three minutes more. Dice the tomato and add it to the skillet. Stir and cook for about five minutes more or until the tomato has broken down.
- Stir the evaporated milk into the skillet. Add the turmeric and salt. Stir and heat through. Add the cooked and blended spinach along with all of the liquid. Stir, taste, and add more salt if desired. Serve hot with bread for dipping.
Step By Step Photos
Begin by adding the olive oil, minced garlic, grated onion, and grated ginger to a large skillet. I used a large cheese grater to grate the onion and a small cheese grater to grate the ginger. Any method you can find to chop these into small bits will work in place of cheese graters. Cook these over medium heat until softened.
Meanwhile, add the spinach to a large pot along with one cup of water and 1/2 tsp of sugar. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and cook until the spinach is tender (about five minutes of boiling).
Once the onion, garlic, and ginger are softened, add the cumin, garam marsala, and cayenne pepper to the skillet. Stir and cook for a few minutes more.
And then it will look like this (this is right about where I started to think that maybe the recipe wouldn’t turn out… but I stuck with it and am glad I did!)
Cut the tomato into a small dice and add to the skillet. Continue to cook until the tomato has broken down (about another five minutes).
By this time the spinach should be tender. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool slightly.
Transfer the cooked spinach and all of the water to a blender or food processor. Carefully pulse it a few times to break it up, but do not puree it.
Back to what’s happening in the skillet… the tomatos have cooked down and look like this. Again, I was thinking, “Oh boy, this isn’t pretty… I dunno if it’s gonna turn out.”
But I kept going. Add in the evaporated milk…
Stir it all together and then add the turmeric and salt…
The turmeric will make it turn a pretty bright yellow color. Finally, add all of the cooked/blended spinach and stir it all together.
And then it will be beautiful and DELICIOUS! You can adjust the salt at this point if needed.
Next I ate a lot of it with some fresh naan bread. YUM.
This dish has so much color and texture, both in terms of appearance and flavor. Truly amazing!