Spinach with home-made curd cheese and cream is one of North India’s favourite vegetable dishes. There are dozens of regional varieties. Here’s a simple, quick-cooking version. Serve with rice or hot buttered chapatis. Serves 5-6
1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
1 fresh hot green chili, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ghee or oil 2 large bunches of spinach, washed, trimmed steamed, drained and finely chopped
4 tablespoons cream fresh homemade curd cheese (panir) made from 2 litres milk, cut into 1.25 cm cubes
½ teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt
Combine the ginger and chili in a food processor or blender and process with a few spoons of cold water. Add the coriander, paprika, cumin, and turmeric and blend to form a smooth spice paste. Scrape the paste into a bowl.
Heat the ghee in a large saucepan over moderate heat. When the ghee is hot, add the spice paste , and fry it for 1 or 2 minutes or until very fragrant. Fold in the spinach, combining it with the spices.
Cook over moderate heat for about 5 more minutes, or until the spinach reduces a little more in volume.
Fold in the cream; add the cubes of panir, the garam masala, and the salt. Cook over low heat for an additional 5 minutes and serve hot.