I can’t resist buying bright, grassy green spinach whenever I go veggie shopping 👌😊 i adore the earthy aroma! And more often than not, I end up making my Dhabewala Palak Paneer (cubes of cottage cheese cooked in a mildly spice spinach gravy) and I like serving it with some kind of rustic Indian flat bread (roti) 😬 hence, my Ajwaini Missi Roti ( carrom flavoured flat bread bread made with a mix of flours and some spices)…everything on this platter is served with love and lots of butter!
I don’t really need to explain what’s Palak Paneer to any Indian! It’s a staple in North India but loved by everyone all over 👍 And trust me, you will fall in love with this preparation! It’s mildly spiced, earthy and very versatile! Versatile because one can pair a Palak Paneer with rotis, rice, puris or even some dinner rolls!
I haven’t used a complicated recipe here, some everyday ingredients to make a magical Dhaba Style dish. Who doesn’t love the aromas wafting out of a Dhaba 😀 and my Ajwaini Missi Roti is rustic. Very crispy on the outside and perfectly moist and flaky on the inside….obviously with a dollop of butter on everything!! You don’t do a Dhaba style meal with no butter! Everything is “Makhan maarkey!” (meaning…slathered with butter!) ❤️
It’s fast and really very easy to put together… Let’s have a look at the recipe..
Yield: Serves 2
Equipment: a large mixing bowl, a rolling pin,a rolling board, a blender, a wok, a pan/ griddle, measuring cups/spoons.
For Palak Paneer
5-6 bunches of medium sized spinach (cleaned, blanched in unsalted water and drained. Also, it shrinks post cooking so you may adjust the quantity)
250 gms paneer /cottage cheese (cubed! shallow fried with no salt & set aside)
2 nos. medium onion chopped finely
2 nos. medium tomatoes chopped finely
6-7 cloves of garlic
2″ piece of ginger
3 nos. green chilli
1 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
2 tbsp grated paneer /cottage cheese
2 tbsp fresh cream (I used Amul)
1 tbsp coriander pwd
1/2 tbsp cumin pwd
1/2 tsp turmeric pwd
1/2 tbsp red chilli pwd
1/2 tbsp Garam Masala pwd
salt to taste
a pinch of asafoetida
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp ghee (optional)
1 tsp butter (optional, for garnish)
In a blender, add garlic, ginger, green chilli and blanched spinach and make a smooth purée. Set aside.
Heat oil and ghee (if using ghee) together in the wok. Add asafoetida (hing). Once the oil is hot enough, add chopped onions add sauté until they start turning brown from the edges. Next add the coriander pwd, cumin pwd, turmeric and rhilli pwd. Mix well. Cook until the oil begins to separate. Next, add the tomatoes and season with salt. Add Garam masala at this stage and cook until the tomatoes are completely cooked and the oil floats on top of the masala, will take approx 7-8 mins (you can put a lid and cook at this stage).
Next, goes in the kasuri methi and grated paneer. Cook them 2-3 mins. Finally add the puréed spinach mixture and the fried cubes of paneer. Stir well but avoid breaking any cubes of the paneer and cook on medium flame for 8-10 mins. Once everything is cooked well, taste for seasoning and adjust the same if needed, then add the cream n stir well. That’s it! Serve piping hot with roti /parathas / rice. ☺️
For Ajwaini Missi Roti
2 cups wholewheat flour (atta)
3/4 cup gram flour (besan)
salt to taste
1 1/2 tbsp carrom seeds (ajwain)
1 tsp chopped green chilli
1 tsp chopped coriander leaves
3 tbsp finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp turmeric pwd
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp ghee for kneading the dough (use oil if you are avoiding ghee)
extra ghee or butter for cooking the roti (optional, you can use oil and avoid ghee/ butter)
1/4 cup approx water (to knead the dough)
Extra wheat flour for dusting
In a large mixing bowl, take all the ingredients except the water. Give everything a good mix. Using little water at a time, make a medium – firm dough. Cover the dough and set it aside for 15 mins.
After 15 mins, divide the dough into equal parts a make balls with it, use some extra flour to dust the rolling board and roll it using a rolling pin to make round parathas/ roti. They should be slightly thick.
Heat the pan/ griddle with some ghee / butter / oil, and cook the roti on both sides until nicely crisp and the colour should be golden brown (take about 2mins on the first side and 1 min on the other side). Apply extra butter if you like before serving them hot! 😀
In my home, we have these with some onions with a dash of lime! And obviously “makhan maarkey” 😜 enjoy!!!