285 g (8 oz) fresh spinach leaves (without stems) or other greens
- Spices -
1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves, optional
250 g (8 oz) panir or ricotta or firm tofu for vegans
oil for deep frying
1 tablespoon ghee
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 cups hot water
1/4 teaspoon black cummin seeds
small pinch asafoetida, optional
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 teaspon salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup yoghurt
How to make it
Put the well-washed spinach leaves into a pan with the water that clings to them, add the fenugreek leaves (if used), cover and steam until spinach is soft. Drain well and chop finely.
Cut the ricotta into cubes and spread on absorbent paper for a few minutes so that surface moisture is absorbed. In a small, deep frying pan or karahi heat enough oil in which to deep fry the cubes of ricotta. Add a tablespoon of ghee to flavour the oil. When oil is very hot, fry a handful of ricotta cubes at a time. Have ready the turmeric stirred into 1 cup of hot water and when the ricotta is pale golden lift out on a slotted spoon and drop the cubes into the turmeric water. Repeat until all the ricotta is fried, leave in the water for about 5 minutes, then drain.
Heat about 2 tablespoons of the oil in a saucepan and add the black cummin seeds, asafoetida, coriander, chilli powder and ginger. Stir and fry briefly, taking care not to burn the spices. Add the spinach and salt and stir for a minute or two, then add about 1/4 cup hot water and the sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir the yoghurt until it is smooth, add it to the spinach and stir well. Add cubes of panir and simmer for 10 minutes longer. Serve hot with rice or chapatis.