Archive for the 'Curry' category

Saag Paneer and Strawberries

June 12, 2013 8:31 pm

Remember all of that spinach? A half pound from the market and a little less than that from our CSA (plus a few leaves of swiss chard) got cooked down into this dinner:

saag paneer

This is my very first attempt as saag paneer and it came out really nicely. A quick note about saag — if this were just made of spinach then it would be palak paneer (because palak = spinach!), but this includes other leafy greens, which is why I called it saag. Saag can be any leafy green, as far as I know: spinach, kale, chard, mustard greens, turnip greens, collard greens… whatever you got!

Unfortunately, I don’t really have precise recipe for this one. There are many, many online. I called my dad and followed his directions and didn’t even think about writing anything down (oops!) However, here’s the general idea of what I did:

Saag Paneer

1lb mix of spinach, kale, and chard – tougher greens will need more cooking
7oz paneer (or 8oz… 7oz was conveniently half of my 14oz package)*
1 tbsp cooking oil
2-3 chopped green onion whites (1/2 a regular onion, when that’s what I have)
4 cloves of garlic
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tbsp tomato paste or perhaps a tomato or two
1 tbsp (?) ghee
more cumin
red pepper powder
*Also, paneer can be made at home pretty easily. I’ve only done it once before, but I’ll probably post about it when I get around to giving it another shot. Until then, google that tshi if you want to know.

1. Blanche the greens in a minimal amount of water, strain, saving the blanching water. Let cool.
2. Cube and fry (or bake – this was my dad’s suggestion) the paneer in maybe half a tbsp of oil.
3. Remove the paneer, and heat the remaining oil and fry the onion and cumin.
4. When the onion has softened, add garlic and garlic. I have no idea how much ginger I added. I totally eyeballed it.
5. After about a minute, add garam masala and tomato paste. Cook for another minute or so and add the greens.
6. I used the immersion blender to blend the greens and spices into a paste, but you could also puree the greens first. I needed some of the reserved blanching water to get a good consistency.
7. In another small pot, heat ghee and fry another half tsp of cumin and a pinch of red pepper powder. Add it to the curry!
8. Add paneer, salt to taste and eat with rice and market yogurt!

YUM! The consistency could have been a little smoother… perhaps if I’d pureed the greens into a finer paste. Also my dad suggested adding a potato, a tbsp of besan, or some moong dal to thicken it. I added a little besan after blending the greens (and cooked an extra 5 minutes), but I don’t think I added nearly enough so I can’t really comment on whether or not it actually helped. It doesn’t matter, it was great the way it was πŸ™‚

I think we’ll get about 4 servings out of this, with a bit of rice and yogurt. If they were four equal servings each would be 230 cals, 18g fat, 4g carbs, 1g fiber, and 13g protein. (They won’t be equal because Glenn ate nearly twice as much as me… how did that happen?) Not the most low fat recipe (though it probably didn’t need that last bit of ghee), but I think it’s a small price to pay for a curry packed with greens. I suppose it would have been a more balanced meal with chicken or garbanzos instead of paneer (and with chicken and a fresh tomato it would have been totally a market curry), but paneer is so good!

Also, Glenn checked out a new market today and brought some of these home:


Great day πŸ™‚

Lentil, Kale, & Andouille Sausage Stew (and kofta lunch!)

June 8, 2013 8:35 pm

Despite the order of my title, first, LUNCH!


I needed to use up the ends of a Drumlin Community Farms salsa & marinara sauce. The marinara sauce was opened to compliment my stuffed shells at the end of last week, but it wasn’t really hitting the spot. Then, I realized: I don’t know why, but it would make an excellent tomato curry! (Weird.) I had some veggie meatballs from TJs that I picked up months ago, on my parents insistance that it’s a great substitute for kofta. So, I fried a red onion with some spices, added tomato-y-ness with some water for liquid, and simmered the “kofta”. Served over some basmati and a scoop of market yogurt with a few straggler peas I found in the freezer. Overall – pretty good use of random market stuff and things that were wasting away in my freezer! (Note to self: when peas are in season, I could pick up a lb of tomatoes and recreate this!)

Now – to the main event.

lentil sausage kale stew

Ta-Da! (Sorry for the dark picture, we had a very late dinner!)

I have to say – it was entirely too hot in the house for this. I thought it would be fine, with our 60 deg days. But apparently, running the bread machine, slow cooker (black beans, upcoming), and the stove all at the same time makes the kitchen hot. Who knew πŸ˜›

Lentil, Kale, & Chicken Andouille Sausage Stew!
adapted from Rachel Ray’s “Week in a day”

1 tbsp olive oil
12oz Chicken Sausage (spicy was so good!)
2-3 small red onions (or maybe one whole regular onion)
2 carrots, diced
1 tbsp tomato paste (optional, I think)
1.5 c brown lentils
4 c chicken broth
at least 2 c water (I added much, much more)
a few leaves fresh oregano
a couple pinches of dried rosemary
2 cloves of garlic, diced
some cumin (whoops, didn’t measure it!)
4 oz no-yolk egg noodles
1 bunch rinsed, de-stemmed, and finely diced kale

First, I took the sausage out of its casing and broke it up a bit. I browned it in a tbsp of oil. I thought I could use a tsp and I was wrong and ended up adding more oil to the pan! When the sausage was partially browned, I added the onion and carrot and cooked until the sausage looked almost done. Then, I should have added the tomato paste (but ended up adding it after the broth by accident). Added the broth, lentils, water, Β herbs, garlic, and cumin. I let this simmer until the lentils were almost as tender as I wanted. I find this takes me only 10 minutes, but recipes always say it should take more time!

Then, I added the egg noodles, at the end, as an impulse, since I was worried it wouldn’t be calorie-dense enough for Glenn. After looking in my fridge and cabinet, that’s what I found. It would have been nice with the potato Rachel calls for or even sweet potato or cooked brown rice. Since I added egg noodles, I also added maybe nearly two more cups of water. When the egg noodles were done, I added the kale and served it up! Yum!

This made 6 Pooja-servings, but probably only 4-5 Glenn-servings πŸ™‚
One Pooja-serving has 282 cals, 8g fat, 41g carbs, 13g fiber, and 23g protein.