Indian Roasted Cauliflower, Zucchini, and Spinach Saag ‘Paneer’

April 29, 2009


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p3160352This is a real vegetable beauty and is just the type of recipe I like: simple, improvisational and savory. Though it sounds exotic, you’ll be surprised by how prepared your pantry already is to whip up this dish. You’ll have to buy fresh spinach, cauliflower and maybe mozzarella, but the other ingredients are likely lying in wait. This meal is wonderful to prepare with friends–as you p3160347marinate the cauliflower, I suggest mixing up a few citrus martinis and getting lively. The timing is just perfect for that. You could even use your tipsy enthusiasm to make real paneer, which is not difficult… the process involves boiling milk and fermenting it with lemon juice–both of which you probably have. But, if time is of the essence, substitute mozzarella instead. This is a lovely option for supporting local dairymaids, as most have mozzarella readily available.

Indian Roasted Cauliflower: p3160351

Tumeric, pepper flakes, coriander, cumin, S & P and plain yogurt.

*Mix spices in large bowl, with yogurt. * Marinate cauliflower about 30-45 minutes. * Bake at 450 until golden brown around the edges.

Spinach Saag ‘Paneer:’

Bunch of spinach * 1 yellow onion * 2 tbsp fresh ground ginger * 3 tbsp olive oil * 2 teaspoons ground coriander * 1 teaspoon ground cumin * 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper * 1/2 pound paneer cheese (or sub mozzarella) * 1/2 c plain yogurt * 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved * 2 tsp salt * 1 tsp black pepper * 2-4 zucchini, sliced lengthwise, brushed with olive oil and dusted with sea salt.

p3160350* Roast zucchini with cauliflower–about 30 minutes until golden, flipping once and turning the pan.

p3160349* Blend chopped onion, garlic and ginger along with spinach in a food processor. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and puree until a smooth paste forms. * Set aside. * Heat oil in a saute pan and add onion/ spinach paste and chopped tomatoes. * Saute until fragrant, then add the yogurt and spices. * Sprinkle with S & P and saute about 2 minutes more. * Add cheese to the mix–if using mozzarella instead of real paneer, add just before serving, as the mozzarella easily melts throughout.

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