The good thing about prolonged time at house with my dad and mom (thanks, WFH!) is that I’m getting further time with house meals. Let me make clear the time period for many who could also be unfamiliar. After I point out in dialog to associates that I is likely to be lacking Indian food, they at all times recommend I order in from considered one of our go-to Indian eating places. Now don’t get me unsuitable, I love restaurant Indian meals, however I don’t consider it when I’ve a longing for Indian meals.
After I need Indian meals, I would like my mother’s meals. Aka house meals.
Restaurant Indian meals jogs my memory of weddings and events, the place the aspect tables are lined with these chrome steel chafers with the candles beneath that preserve the meals heat. The meals is a thick and creamy stick-to-your-ribs type of good, and I may spot that signature tikka masala scent from miles away. It brings me an immense quantity of pleasure. And don’t even get me began on how good leftovers are the subsequent day.
Dwelling meals, nonetheless, is the place the magic is. The meals isn’t fairly as wealthy and buttery, and I can’t say that we’ve ever actually made garlic naan at house ourselves apart from when the longing for restaurant meals strikes. The stacks of charred roti’s in my mother’s tortilla hotter and Haldi stained spice spoons are what brings the whole lot collectively. Dare I even name the meals my mother makes wholesome? It’s the meals I consider after I’m actually craving Indian meals.
It seems a shame to me that a lot of “cultural” foods get a rap for being unhealthy purely based on people’s restaurant experiences where indulgence is the goal. Look, I love heavy cream and mounds of ghee in food too. Who wouldn’t? But so many of the foods and dishes we get at restaurants are actually just a part of people’s everyday dinners, simply barely completely different.
One such instance is considered one of my absolute favorites, saag paneer. When most individuals consider saag paneer, they most likely consider heavy cream and butter-laden creamed spinach dish with tons of paneer cubes that you just dunk your tears of naan in. Truthful sufficient. It’s an exquisite picture.
My mother’s saag paneer recipe although is a kind of dinner staples which are so scrumptious you neglect that you just’re consuming spinach and that it’s mainly a wholesome scrumptious and nutritious spiced dinner to eat with a pleasant charred entire wheat roti. Would you ever assume I’d’ve described Indian meals in that method? It doesn’t matter, it’s freaking scrumptious.
Being at home, I finally paid attention to what my mom was putting in the pot on the stove so I could write down the recipe and attempt to recreate once I’m back in my own space. I.e. my mother doesn’t write down measurements so I had to figure it out based on careful examination.
Literally this dish could not be simpler to make. You’ve got your thawed frozen spinach that you boil, you blitz the spinach into a nice creamy consistency, then add in the spices and my mom’s ingredient for extra creaminess that makes this a lighter and healthier version than what you find in restaurants, which is sour cream. Toss it all together, throw in some paneer cubes, and you are set for a delicious and cozy plate of greens that will make you want to eat spinach on repeat.
There are versions out on the interwebs that include things like onion or ginger, different spices, you name it. This is always been my favorite version though. It’s no frills, simple, and just a nice cozy meal that reminds me of home. I do not think there is only one “authentic” version of a dish like this. Aunties all over the world put their own spin on it, use their favorite ingredients or spice ratios, and I welcome you to simply use this as your starting point and adjust to your own tastes!