Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Spinach (Palak, Pala Kura)

Spinach (Palak, Pala Kura)

Spinach, Palak, Pala Kura

This green leafy vegetable is a must buy at least once a week, for me. Spinach dal and spinach curry are the most common ways, how I use this vegetable. Sometimes, when I am in a mood for fancy, restaurant kind of meal, I make the famous Palak Paneer. With rice, roti or as sandwich filler, I like my spinach.

For this weekend herb/food ingredient blogging -
It’s Time for Thyme at Kalyn’s Kitchen and 80th birthday party for her dad. Wow, congratulations Kalyn’s Dad and many more happy returns of the day!
Nature’s complete food - Dates at My Dhaba and also checkout Adarsh, the cute taste tester of My Dhaba.

Sam of Beck and Posh is requesting our prayers for Fred. Please send some goodwill towards her way. Thanks!

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Spinach, Indian Ingredients (Sunday November 13, 2005 at 12:12 pm- permalink)
Comments (13)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Palak Paneer (Sag Paneer, Spinach Paneer)

I learned the organized approach to cooking North Indian dishes from Deviji, a kind Punjabi lady, our neighbor in Pittsburgh, when we were living there. She taught me how to cook my favorites, she insisted that I come and see how she prepares in her kitchen so that I won’t forget. She used to say if you see, you won’t forget, particularly cooking. I think that is true. My entire north Indian cooking is her recipes including the paneer post below. Hope you try them and enjoy as much as we do. Here is one…The famous palak paneer


One big bunch of spinach (fresh green ones)
Paneer ~10 to 15 cubes
One medium sized ripe tomato
Green chillies 5, half onion~ chopped finely into small pieces
Half tsp of garlic-ginger-cilantro paste
One tsp of dhania-jeera (coriander-cumin) powder
Quarter cup cashews
Half tsp of salt

Palak Paneer Ingredients


Spinach and Green Chillies - Wash the spinach, cut or tear them into big pieces. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a wide skillet. First add green chillies to hot oil, then spinach. Saute until the leaves are wilted. Turn off the heat. Wait few minutes to cool. Add them to a blender and also a pinch of salt - blend to smooth paste. Adding green chillies to spinach puree is very important step; it gives punch to bland spinach.

Tomato- Boil tomato in hot water till the skin break down, remove the skin, mash the tomato to a pulp.

Cashews- Roast cashews lightly, make fine powder of them.

Paneer- Lightly saute paneer cubes in one teaspoon of ghee till they are golden brown. (This is optional, you can add paneer cubes just as they are.)

Palak Paneer-Preparation

Now with the curry:

Add one teaspoon of ghee or oil to a wide skillet. When it is hot, fry the onions till translucent. Add ginger-garlic-cilantro paste and dhania-jeera powder, mix them and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.

Now add pureed spinach, tomato and cashew powder along with a pinch of turmeric and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly and add water if needed. Do not dilute the curry too much. It should not spread like flooding river when served on a plate.

Cook it covered on low flame for about 5 to 10 minutes. Just before turning off the heat, add the paneer cubes. Mix them with the spinach (palak). Let simmer for 2 or 3 minutes and then turn off the heat.

Serve the curry hot with chapatis (rotis) or with rice. Also for novelty, you can make a Palak Panner Naanini (Split naan into two layers, apply generous potions of palak paneer in-between. Grill or Oven-broil for few minutes and serve with yogurt raita.) Anyway you prefer, palak paneer is truly a guilt free, satisfying, well balanced delicious dish.

Palal Paneer with Chapati
Palak Paneer with Chapatis ~ Our Meal Today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Paneer, Spinach (Monday June 6, 2005 at 6:20 pm- permalink)
Comments (249)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Spinach Dal (Palakura Pappu)

Pressure-cooking with toor dal is the most common way that we consume green leafy vegetables like spinach etc., in our home. Combine all the ingredients below; mix them with one glass of water and pressure cook. Within a half an hour, you can have a tasty, nutritious dal. Mix it with steamed rice for a complete meal, or enjoy it like a light and filling soup.


One bunch of Spinach, washed and cut or tiered into big pieces
One cup of Toor dal (Kandi Pappu)
One medium sized tomato and onion, cut into pieces
One tsp of chilli powder or 7 to 8 Indian variety green chillies
Half tsp of turmeric (pasupu)
Key-lime size tamarind (Chinta pandu)
One glass of water
For popu or tadka:
1 teaspoon of peanut oil or ghee
1 teaspoon of each - cumin, mustard seeds, minced garlic, chana dal, urad dal and few pieces of curry leaves and dried red chilli pieces

Spinach, Onions, Tomato and Tamarind, Red Chilli Powder and Toor dal

After pressure-cooking all of the above ingredients, add 1 tsp of salt and with a whisk or a wood masher make a paste of spinach dal.

In a saucepan, add one tsp of oil or ghee and lightly fry the minced garlic, urad dal, chana dal, cumin and mustard seeds, red chilli pieces and curry leaves. This is called “Popu” or “Tiragamata”in Telugu. Without the Popu the dal is not ‘dal’, so don’t even think about skipping this step. Popu not only adds wonderful fragrance to dal, hot oil or ghee with all other toasted ingredients makes the dal more palatable, sort of like dressing it up.

Add the spinach dal to the popu and combine them together. Serve the dal with rice or with chapati/roti.

 Spinach Dal pressure cooked and salt just added before making the dal into a pasteDoing the popu or tiragamata
Spinach DalSpinach dal, Rice and Papad

Our meal:
Spinach dal with rice, ghee and papad and of course a cup of yogurt on the side.

Recipe Source: Amma

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Spinach, Amma & Authentic Andhra (Tuesday March 29, 2005 at 6:05 pm- permalink)
Comments (109)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

« Next Page —