Everyone's favorite restaurant dish. (Or was that butter chicken?) Once you have the ingredients, it is pretty easy to make. You can buy paneer if you have to, but homemade is tastier.
Prep: 5 minutes after assembling ingredients
Cook: about 30 minutes
1-2 tiny hot green chilies, cut into pieces (use gloves, really) and can omit if desired
1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced thin
4 T water
1/2 T ground coriander
1/2 T ground turmeric
1/2 t ground cumin
1/4 t paprika
6 t ghee or vegetable oil
6 oz fresh paneer cheese, made from 6 cups milk, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 pounds fresh spinach, washed, trimmed and finely chopped, or two 10-oz boxes of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
1/2 t garam masala (a spice blend)
1 t salt
3 T cream or cream cheese, cut into pieces
1. Place chilies, ginger, and water in blender or food processor and puree. Add dry spices and pulse to blend well. Set aside.
2. Heat ghee or oil in (non-stick is better) wok or 5-qt saucepan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Fry the paneer cheese cubes for 5 minutes, turning gently to brown on all sides. Remove with slotted spoon. ( Cubes will stick in a stainless steel pan)
3. Carefully add wet spice paste (masala) to hot oil, then pack in the wet spinach leaves. Reduce the heat slightly, cover, and cook for 8 minutes. Using two forks, turn spinach over so that the cooked leaves on bottom change places with leaves on the top. Cover and cook for another 9 minutes. (If using frozen defrosted, cook only for a total of 8 minutes.
4. Add garam masala, salt, fried paneer, and cream or cream cheese. Cover and cook through for 5 minutes Stir well before serving.
Serve with warmed flatbreads, or over rice, with cornbread, or tomato salad.