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Palak Paneer by Tarla Dalal

Many of the best loved vegetarian Punjabi dishes are the ones where paneer is combined with a vegetable. Paneer is widely used and very popular in Punjab due to the abundance of milk and milk products in the area. This combination of spinach and paneer is not only highly nutritious, but is a splendid blend of taste, texture and flavour. The paneer in this recipe has been fried to add some extra flavour. You can however add the paneer pieces without frying if required.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves 4.

10 cupschopped spinach (palak)
oil for deep-frying
2 cupspaneer (cottagte cheese) , cut into 12 mm. (½") cubes
2 tbspoil
3/4 cup finely chopped onions
4 cloves of garlic (lehsun)
12 mm. (½") piece of ginger (adrak), grated
2green chillies, finely chopped
1/2 tspturmeric powder (haldi)
3/4 cup fresh tomato puree
1/4 tspgaram masala
salt to taste

1.Blanch the spinach in a vesselful of boiling water.
2.Drain, wash with cold water and blend in a mixer to a smooth purée. Keep aside.
3.Heat the oil in a kadhai and deep-fry the paneer pieces in it till golden brown in colour.
4.Drain on absorbent paper and then put in warm water for 15 minutes.
5.Drain again and keep aside.
6.Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions and sauté till they turn translucent.
7.Add the garlic, ginger, green chillies and turmeric powder and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
8.Add the tomato purée and sauté till the mixture leaves oil while stirring continuously.
9.Add the spinach purée, paneer, Punjabi garam masala, salt and 1 cup of water and simmer till the gravy thickens a little. Serve hot.


Palak Pakoda Chaat by Tarla Dalal

Large spinach leaves, coated with a thin gram flour batter, are deep fried to make crisp spinach pakodas which are topped with sweet chutney and sprinkled with roasted cumin powder. Here are all the ingredients of a delicious chaat!

Preparation Time: 10 mins.
Cooking Time: 15 mins.
Serves 6.

50 fresh spinach leaves, washed
1 cupbesan (Bengal gram flour)
1/2 tspchilli powder
salt to taste
oil for deep-frying

For serving
6 tbspMeethi Soonth
1 tspcumin seeds (jeera) powder
1/4 tspchilli powder

1.Mix the gram flour, chilli powder and salt with ¾ cup of water to make a thick batter.
2.Heat the oil in a kadhai and when hot, dip each spinach leaf in the gram flour batter and drop a few leaves at a time into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, remove and drain on absorbent paper. Repeat for the remaining spinach leaves.
3.Place the spinach pakodas on a serving plate. Spread with the meethi soonth and sprinkle the cumin powder and chilli powder on top.
4.Serve immediately.


Palak Methi Muthia by Tarla Dalal

These spinach and fenugreek dumplings make delicious treats for kids. They can munch on this finger-food and get a little nourishment at the same time.

Preparation Time: 10 mins.
Cooking Time: 25 mins.
Serves 4.

For the muthias
3 cups spinach (palak) , finely chopped
1 1/2 cupsfenugreek (methi) leaves , finely chopped
1 tspginger-green chilli paste
2 tbspwhole wheat flour (gehun ka atta)
1 tbspbesan (Bengal gram flour)
1 tbspsemolina (rava)
1/2 tspcumin seeds (jeera)
a pinch of baking soda
2 tspsugar
1 tbsplemon juice
1 tspoil
salt to taste
oil for greasing

For the tempering
1 tspmustard seeds ( rai / sarson)
1 tspsesame seeds (til)
1/4 tspasafoetida (hing)
1 tspoil

For serving
Nutritious Green Chutney

For the muthias
1.Combine the spinach and fenugreek leaves with 1 teaspoon of salt and keep aside for about 5 minutes.
2.Squeeze out all the liquid and place the spinach and fenugreek leaves in a bowl.
3.Add all the remaining ingredients (other than for the tempering) and knead to a very soft dough adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if required.
4.Apply a little oil on your hands and divide the mixture into 4 equal portions. Shape each portion into a cylindrical roll approx. 150 mm. (6") length and 25 mm. (1") in diameter.
5.Steam in a steamer till done.
6.Cut into 12 mm. (½") slices and keep aside.
How to proceed
1.For the tempering, heat the oil in a large pan and add the mustard seeds and sesame seeds. When the seeds crackle, add the asafoetida.
2.Add the sliced muthias, toss well and stir over gentle heat for 2 to 3 minutes till they are lightly browned.
3.Serve hot with nutritious green chutney.

1.It will take approx. 20 minutes on a medium flame for the muthias to be cooked till done.
2.To check if the muthias are done, insert a toothpick in the centre. If it come out clean, the muthias are cooked.

Nutrient values per serving

Carbohydrate Energy Fat Protein Vitamin A
9.7 gm. 94 cal. 4.8 gm. 3.0 gm. 747.6 mcg


Palak Mutter by Tarla Dalal

Simple, subtle and superb! An aromatic Kashmiri vegetable flavoured with an unusual combination of spices.

Preparation Time: 10 mins.
Cooking Time: 20 mins.
Serves 4.

5 cups finely chopped spinach (palak)
1 cupboiled green peas
2 cloves (laung / lavang)
25 mm. (1") stick of cinnamon (dalchini)
1/4 tspasafoetida (hing)
1 tspchilli powder
1/4 tspturmeric powder (haldi)
1/4 tspdried ginger (soonth) powder
1/2 cupmilk
2 tspoil
salt to taste

1.Heat the oil, add the cloves, cinnamon and asafoetida.
2.Add the spinach and peas along with ½ cup of water and bring it to a boil.
3.Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes till almost all the water evaporates.
4.Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder, ginger powder, milk and salt and mix well.
5.Bring it to a boil and serve immediately.


Palak Paneer Dosa ( Mumbai Roadside Recipe) by Tarla Dalal

India truly comes together in this recipe! this dosa with a punjabi tadka is a simple, delectable and sure-fire method to make your kid eat spinach! ensure you use a soft paneer to relish this snack.

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 25 mins
Makes 4 plates

For The Spinach Purée (makes Approx. 1 1/3 Cups)
3 3/4 cups chopped spinach (palak)
2 tsp roughly chopped green chillies
1 tsp chopped ginger (adrak)

Other Ingredients
1 cup dosa batter
6 tbsp butter
1 cup finely chopped onions
green garlic chutney
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 cup chopped paneer
salt to taste

For Serving
coconut chutney
green garlic (lehsun) chutney

For the spinach purée
1.Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, add ¾ cup of water and simmer till the spinach cooks. Keep aside to cool.
2.Blend in a mixer till smooth. Keep aside.

How to proceed
1.Heat a tava /non-stick tava (griddle), sprinkle a little water on it (it should sizzle immediately) and wipe off using a piece of cloth.
2.Pour ¼th of the batter on the tava (griddle) and spread in a circular motion to make a 225 mm. (9") thin dosa.
3.Place 1 tbsp of butter in the centre, add ¼ cup of onions and 2 tsp of green garlic chutney, mix well, cover and cook on a medium flame for 2 minutes.
4.Add 1/3 cup of spinach purée, ¼ tsp of chilli powder, ¼ tsp of garam masala, mix well, cover and cook on a medium flame for a few seconds.
5.Add the paneer, salt, another ½ tbsp of butter, mix well and cover and cook on a medium flame for another minute.
6.Place the stuffing on a small plate and fold over the dosa to make a semi-circle or a roll.
7.Place the dosa on a plate along with the stuffing and serve immediately with coconut chutney, green garlic chutney and sambhar.
8.Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make 3 more plates.

Be a little different:
Pav bhaji dosa:
1.Vendors usually make the pav bhaji stuffing over the dosa, which is smeared on the tava (griddle).
2.You can follow the same method of making the bhaji on the dosa or you can make it in a kadhai and then smear it over the dosas.
3.Smear approximately 1/3 cup of bhaji over a dosa, add 1 tbsp of butter and grated cheese over it if you like.
4.Serve hot with coconut chutney, green garlic chutney and sambhar.


Palak Toovar Dal ( Calcium Rich Recipe) by Tarla Dalal

A spicy spinach and lentil preparation that you will enjoy with steamed rice or khoba rotis. Do not overcook this dal as the spinach tends to discolour quickly.

Preparation Time: 20 mins.
Cooking Time: 20 mins.
Serves 4.

2 cupschopped spinach (palak)
1/2 cuptoovar (arhar) dal
1 tspginger, finely chopped
1 tspgreen chillies, finely chopped
1/4 tspturmeric powder (haldi)
1/2 tspchilli powder
2 tbspchopped coriander (dhania)
salt to taste

For the tempering
3 bayleaves (tejpatta)
3 cloves (laung / lavang)
3 whole red chillies
1/2 tspcumin seeds (jeera)
a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1 tbspghee

1.Clean, wash and soak the toovar dal for 2 hours. Drain and keep aside.
2.Combine the soaked toovar dal, spinach, ginger, green chillies, turmeric powder, salt and 3 cups of water and pressure cook for 2 whistles.
3.For the tempering, heat the ghee in a pan. Add the bay leaves, cloves, red chillies, cumin seeds and asafoetida.
4.When the seeds crackle, pour the tempering over the cooked dal. Add the chilli powder and chopped coriander, mix well and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.
5. Serve hot.


Palak Raita ( Raita ) by Tarla Dalal

Palak raita, the most popular and common raita in indian cuisine, very easy to make and taste best when served chilled.

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup blanched and finely chopped spinach
1 1/2 cups thick fresh curds , whisked
salt to taste
1/2 tsp finely chopped green chillies
2 pinches sugar
black pepper powder to taste

1.Combine the curds, salt, green chillies, sugar, black pepper powder and blanched spinach and mix well.
2.Refrigerate for 30 minutes and serve chilled.


Palak Paratha by Tarla Dalal

In this fast paced world none of us have the time to eat healthy. But here's an easy and quick recipe that combines great taste and healthy green vegetables to give you a Parathas that's full wholesome goodness. Punjabi food lives up to its reputation of being very healthy. Palak contains large amounts of fibre along with a lot of essential vitamins and minerals. When puréed and combined with the flour imparts a lovely green colour that's a treat for your eyes. Enjoy this Parathas with thick fresh curds and some achaar. All in all its a tasty way to fill your children up with the essential minerals and keep them happy and healthy.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Makes 6 parathas.

1 1/2 cupschopped spinach (palak)
1/2 tsplemon juice
3/4 cupplain flour (maida)
3/4 cupwhole wheat flour (gehun ka atta)
salt to taste
2 tbspghee
whole wheat flour (gehun ka atta) for rolling
ghee for cooking
fresh curds (dahi) for serving

1.Blend the spinach and lemon juice with 2 tbsp of water in a mixer with 2 tbsp of water to a smooth paste.
2.Combine all the ingredients including the spinach paste and knead to a semi-soft dough using enough water.
3.Divide the dough into 6 equal portions and roll out each portion into a circle of 150 mm. (6") diameter, using whole wheat flour.
4.Cook on a hot tava (griddle) on both sides, using a little ghee, till brown spots appear on both the sides.
5.Serve hot with fresh curds.


Palak Shorba by Tarla Dalal

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves 4.

4 cupschopped spinach (palak)
2 tbspmint leaves (phudina)
2 to 3green chillies
1 cupmilk
salt to taste
1 tspblack pepper (kalimirch) powder
1 tsplemon juice
1 tbspghee
1 tbspcrushed garlic (lehsun)
1 tbspginger (adrak) julliennes for the garnish

1.Boil 2 cups of water in a pan. Add the spinach and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and keep aside to cool.
2.Combine the spinach, mint leaves and green chillies and blend in a mixer to a smooth purée.
3.Transfer it into a deep pan, add the milk and 1½ cups of water and bring to boil.
4.Add the salt, black pepper powder and lemon juice, mix well and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
5.For the tempering, heat the ghee in a small pan, add the garlic and sauté till it turns golden brown.
6.Add this tempering to the palak shorba. Mix well and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
7.Serve hot garnished with ginger juliennes.


Palak Baby Corn by Tarla Dalal

The versatile palak, a favourite in North Indian households, can be used in a variety of preparations such as raita, soup, gravy and kofta! Here it combines with corn, to delight your senses.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Serves 4.

16 baby corns, cut into 25 mm. (1") pieces and boiled
1 cupspinach (palak) puree , refer handy tip
3/4 tspchopped garlic (lehsun)
1 tspgrated ginger (adrak)
1 tspdried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
3/4 tspgaram masala
1 tspsugar
1/4 cupcream
1/4 cup finely chopped tomatoes
1/2 tspblack salt (sanchal)
2 tbspoil
1 tbspbutter
salt to taste

For the white gravy
1 cupsliced onions
10 cashewnuts (kaju)
2 tbspmelon seeds (charmagaz)
3 green chillies

For the white gravy
1.Combine all the ingredients with 1½ cups of water and simmer for about 15 minutes.
2.Cool and blend to a smooth paste in a mixer. Keep aside.

How to proceed
1.Heat the oil and butter in a pan and add the ginger, garlic and tomatoes to it.
2.Sauté for sometime and then add the white gravy, spinach purée, black salt and salt. Cook till oil separates from the gravy.
3.Add the baby corn, dried fenugreek leaves, garam masala, sugar and cream and bring to a boil. Serve hot.


Palak Chola Dal Idli ( Microwave Recipe ) by Tarla Dalal

Idli has always been lauded as a healthy breakfast option, since it is a steamed food made of protein-rich and energy giving ingredients like urad dal and rice. Here is a strikingly different idli, made with completely different ingredients. Palak and chola complement each other in terms of flavour and colour. Sometimes, certain ingredients add a lot of value to a recipe even if used in minuscule quantities-lemon juice is like that! actually, the batter itself looks so interesting that you might be tempted to dip your fingers in even before you cook the idlis. We suggest cooking only four idlis at a time to ensure that they are evenly cooked. Serve with chutney and sambhar, for a wholesome meal.

Soaking Time: 7 to 8 hours
Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Makes 16 idlis

1 1/2 cups soaked chola dal (split cow peas) (split chick peas)
1/2 cup chopped spinach (palak)
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ginger-green chilli paste
salt to taste
oil for greasing
3/4 tsp fruit salt

1.Combine the dal, spinach and lemon juice along with ½ cup of water and blend in a mixer to a smooth paste.
2.Transfer the mixture in a bowl, add the ginger-green chilli paste and salt and mix well.
3.Grease the microwave safe idli moulds and keep aside.
4.Add the water in the microwave safe idli steamer and microwave on high for 30 seconds.
5.Meanwhile add the fruit salt to the idli batter and mix gently.
6.Divide the batter into 16 equal portions and pour 4 portions into 4 greased idli moulds.
7.Microwave on high for 2 minutes.
8.Repeat steps 6 and 7 to make 12 more idlis in 3 more batches.
9.Serve immediately.

Handy tip:
1.Reheat the water in the idli mould after each batch.
2.To get soft and evenly cooked idlis, ensure that you cook only 4 at a time.


Palak and Paneer Soup by Tarla Dalal

This is a spinach rich soup with paneer added to it. You can't find a better way to have spinach in a soup which is iron rich.

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 25 mins
Makes 6 servings

2 tbsp moong dal (split green gram)
100 gms paneer (cottage cheese) , cut into strips
3/4 cup finely chopped spinach (palak)
1 onion , chopped
1 1/2 tbsp butter
salt to taste
oil for deep-frying

1.Cook the moong dal, spinach and onion in 6 teacups of water. When cooked, blend the mixture in a liquidiser.
2.Strain the soup and add the butter, salt and pepper.
3.Deep fry the paneer lightly and add to the soup.
4.Serve hot.


Palak Chana Pulao by Tarla Dalal

An unusual but amazing combination indeed a mix and match of veggies and red chana. Milk rice enhances its flavour while spinach makes it look appetizing and colourful. Red chana is an ideal ingredient that boosts the nutritive value of this dish with its protein, calcium, vitamin A and fibre content. Ensure that you soak the chana well in advance so that it cooks faster and is easy to digest.

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 10 Minutes
Makes 4 servings

1/2 cupsliced onions
1 tspginger-garlic (adrak-lehsun) paste
1/2 cupchopped capsicum
1/2 cupchopped tomatoes, seeds discarded
1/2 cupchopped spinach (palak)
1/4 tspturmeric powder (haldi)
1 tspchilli powder
1 tspcoriander-cumin seeds (dhania-jeera) powder
salt to taste
1 cupsoaked and boiled kala chana
2 1/2 cupsMilk Rice
2 tbspchopped coriander (dhania) for garnishing

1.Heat a non-stick pan on a medium flame and when hot, add the onions and dry roast while stirring continuously, till they turn light brown in colour. Sprinkle a little water if the mixture starts burning.
2.Add the ginger-garlic paste, capsicum and tomatoes and dry roast on a medium flame for 3 to 4 minutes while stirring continuously.
3.Lower the flame, add the spinach, turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander-cumin seed powder, salt and 2 tablespoons of water and heat for 1 to 2 more minutes.
4.Add the chana and milk rice, mix gently and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.
5.Serve hot garnished with coriander.