Chili Mint Paneer

Today I would like to share a recipe from a lunch I hosted a while back – months before our Shelter in Place took place. Let’s call this a Throwback Thursday type of post.

I had friends Shalini and Rose over for a casual lunch a while back and I can honestly say that when the three of us get together time just flies. Shalini and Rose are two of my very dear friends, not only can we spend hours together chatting, both these ladies are amazing cooks. Rose is a baker aficionado, and my friend Shalini is a fabulous Indian cook.  In addition to being awesome cooks, they are both health conscious and their foods are mindfully made. Naturally, when these ladies come over I have to up my game, especially my culinary skills.

On the menu

On the menu on this afternoon were a wide variety of light Indian vegetarian dishes accompanied by Rose’s baked treats. Most of the dishes are go-to easy-to-make favorites that I like to whip up for a simple lunch, the same is true for Rose’s desserts.  Shalini’s spinach and paneer dish on the other hand was a new item on our menu and it was outstanding 😋!  First let me share with you our delicious and healthy lunch menu.

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 Indian Vegetarian Afternoon Lunch Menu

Chili Mint Paneer with Spinach – Shalini
Coconut chutney – Shalini
Turmeric spiced Brussels sprouts – Me
Vermicelli pilaf with green peas – Me
Tomato and onion yogurt raita – Me
For Dessert:
Jam bars – Rose
Chai

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Brussels sprouts, coconut chutney and paneer
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Vermicelli upma (pilaf)
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Yogurt raita

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Chili mint paneer a unique twist on saag paneer

Shalini is an amazing cook, so it is no surprise then that her recipe for spinach paneer also known as saag paneer should taste so good.  Think traditional saag paneer but with a twist.  This one is made with a spicy paste of green chilies, ginger, garlic, mint and spinach which are then mixed with pan fried paneer and creamy yogurt. Positively delicious this is!  I asked Shalini for the recipe, which she graciously shared.

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With springtime upon us and plenty of fresh leafy greens in abundance, now is a good time to try making this greens inspired curry.

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Chili Mint Paneer with Spinach
recipe courtesy of Shalini

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 1 cup Fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch piece of ginger grated and finely diced
  • 1 jalapeno or 3 green chilies. Remove the seeds if you want to keep the dish mild
  • 4 cups fresh chopped spinach
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder or paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 block of paneer cut into small cubes and lightly pan fried with 1 tbsp ghee
  • 4 tbsp plain yogurt

Directions:

  • In a mini food processor or a blender grind the ginger, garlic, onion, cilantro and spinach together into a thick paste like consistency.  Add a little water if needed to blend into a paste. Set aside.
  • In a pan warm 1 tbsp oil and pour the spinach mixture. Add turmeric, salt, and chili powder or paprika.  Cook the spinach mixture for 10-15 minutes until the raw onion and veggie aroma is gone. The mixture will start bubbling and splashing, you can cover the pot and continue to cook. Stir occasionally.
  • After the spinach mixture is cooked through add the garam masala and paneer and stir in.  Continue cooking for a couple more minutes.  Turn the stove off until ready to serve.
  • Right before serving, mix in plain yogurt.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with rice, naan, tortillas or chapatis.

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Eating leafy greens a day keeps the doctor away.

Eating leafy greens daily helps keep minds sharp.

“To age well, we must eat well. There has been a lot of evidence that heart-healthy diets help protect the brain.  The latest good news: A 2018 study published in Neurology and the US National Library of Medicine. National Institute of Health finds that healthy seniors who had daily helpings of leafy green vegetables — such as spinach, kale and collard greens — had a slower rate of cognitive decline, compared to those who tended to eat little or no greens.”  Source: npr.org

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