Quick Palak Paneer in less than 10 minutes


Why this recipe? How is it green? How am I contributing to making this earth green by following four steps or less recipes?

Using Pressure Cooker will take 8-10 minutes whereas it will take 25-30 minutes in a regular pan. 

You save: 40% of fuel energy and 10 minutes of your precious time that is about 5 to 8% of the total time you spend in kitchen on an average (assuming you spend a total of 2-3 hours in a day in the kitchen)

COOKING TIME: 8-10 Minutes


1/2 tablespoon oil
1 cinnamon stick (daal chini)
1 star anise (Chakraphool)
1 brown cardamom (elaichi)
2 bay leaf (tez patta)
½ kilo bag of frozen spinach pellets or
1 kg of fresh spinach leaves
1 large onion – chopped any size
1 large tomato -chopped any size
1 fresh green chilli or 1 inch frozen crushed green chilli
4 cloves of garlic or 2 inch frozen garlic
50 grams freshly grated ginger or 2 inch frozen ginger
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons red chilly powder
2 tablespoons coriander powder
1 teaspoons garam masala (all spice)
1/2 kilo Paneer (cottage cheese)cut to 1 inch pieces
Butter oil for topping (if preferred)

STEP 1. Put all whole spices into heated oil, let them get brown
STEP 2. Add rest of the ingredients and cook for 2 whistles (4-6 minutes) in cooker or in the pan until all tender
STEP 3. Remove whole spices and run the hand grinder for 1-2 minutes right into the cooker/pan to make it smooth. You can then put the whole spices back in if you want to.
STEP 4. Add garam masala and the paneer/tofu pieces and let it simmer for 5 minutes before serving

1. As no oils are needed to prepare the dish, you can add a dollop of butter or butter oil (butter oil) when serving, Spinach is supposed to be dry in nature for body so some healthy grease is advisable.
2. Feel free to replace paneer (cottage cheese) with sautéd Tofu or grilled potatoes.
3. For non vegetarian option replace paneer with boneless chicken tikka.

Flavourful Tip-ज़ायकेदार सलाह

thumb_IMG_0237_1024Bhuna Jeera, as it is called in India, roasted cumin seeds can add a distinct tangy flavour to any recipe. It can be used a spice while cooking and it goes really well when added to yogurt drinks, cocktails, fruit punches and salads. Prepare Bhuna Jeera (roasted cumin powder) at home by simply roasting cumin seeds in microwave for 1-2 minutes moving it every 30 seconds so that it does not burn. Grind the roasted seeds to a coarse powder and store in air tight container.

Roast Eggplant Mash (Baingun Bharta)-गुणों वाला बैगुन भर्था

Why this recipe? How is it green? Am I saving some time by following four steps or less recipes?

GLUTEN FREE, Source of  dietary fibre, vitamins and rich in antioxidants compounds

Using Pre sautéed onions and pre roasted eggplant/Aubergine is saving 15-25 minutes of your time.

You save: 40% of fuel energy and 15-25 minutes of your precious time that is about 8 to 10% of the total time you spend in kitchen on an average(assuming you spend a total of 2-3 hours in a day in the kitchen).

COOKING TIME: 10-15 Minutes with preparation following time saving tips 

1 teaspoon oil
1 large roasted egg plant, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 big tomato chopped
2 big onions chopped small (and sautéed, if you followed save time for next time tip)
2 inch frozen ginger
1 inch frozen chopped green chilli
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon red chilli powder
1 ½ teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon of mango powder or pomegranate powder
Coriander leaves or spring onion for garnish

STEP 1. Put bay leaf and cinnamon into heated oil, let them get brown and add sautéed onion (If using fresh cut onion , sauté until they are translucent)
STEP 2. Add chopped roasted aubergine, salt, chilli powder and coriander powder
STEP 3. Add chopped tomatoes and sauté until all water from tomatoes dries out
STEP 4. Add pomegranate powder or mango powder before putting it in serving dish.

Aubergine/eggplant can be roasted right on the stove by putting it on a metal mesh or in the oven. Conventional recipe requires it to be roasted in a clay oven called tandoor. To get the smoky flavour on an oven or stove roasted eggplant, follow the process in smoking hot tip

To ensure energy efficiency and minimize carbon footprint of your cooking, put the eggplant in the oven when you are using the oven for some other baking. Roasted eggplant can be stored in fridge for days before you make the bhartha/Mash.

To save time for this recipe use pre sautéed onions that you stored in your fridge the last the time around. (remember the save time for next time tip)

Time is Precious-एक सलाह काम की

Time is precious, value your time. When in the kitchen preparing a meal, use the same time to do other preparatory things for future use while your food is on the stove getting tender. For example, as I mentioned in a previous post, you could peel and grind ginger and garlic to freeze for future use. Or you could prepare a broth or sauté chopped onions for the next day (as I will explain in an upcoming post). This will save cooking time for your next meal and you get some more time each day to spend with your loved ones!