Curry is considered a global dish — cuisines around the world utilize it in many ways. From Japan to India, and even the Caribbean, curried dishes make a unique statement in the respective cultures they belong to. Despite its diversity, the dish also boasts an identifiable characteristic that curry lovers will instantly recognize.1
The spice typically contains a mixture of turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger and chilies, creating a strong flavor unlike any other.2 The great thing about curry is that it can be modified further to suit your taste, like in this recipe from Dontask4Salt. The sauce in this dish is green instead of the traditional curry color, because spinach leaves are blended into it, creating a mildly spiced dish your family will enjoy. This unique curry recipe gives you a whole new way to enjoy cheese!
Tasty Palak Paneer Curry
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 21 minutes Serving Size: 2
- 1 cup spinach leaves
- 1 cup paneer, cubed
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 green chili, chopped
- 1/2 inch ginger, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh organic cream
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes to garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon of Himalayan salt, to taste
- In a saucepan, bring water to a boil and blanch the spinach for one minute. Next, drain and cool the spinach in ice water to keep the bright green color.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a pan. Once hot, add the cumin seeds — they should sizzle immediately. Next add the onion, garlic, ginger and chili, and cook over a medium flame until the onion is golden brown. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until soft. Turn off the flame and let the mixture cool.
- Blend the mixture together with the blanched spinach and add a touch of water to get a thick and smooth paste.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a pan, then add the turmeric, red chili powder, cumin and coriander and sauté for 10 seconds until the spices release their aroma. Add the spinach paste and cook for two minutes on a medium-high flame. Add water and cook for five more minutes, then taste and add salt if desired.
- Next, add the paneer to the gravy and mix well to coat the cheese. Cook for five minutes, then add the garam masala and the fresh cream. Stir and cook on a low flame for two minutes, then garnish with chili flakes and serve with your desired side.
Curcumin: The Superstar of Curry
Turmeric, also known as the “golden spice,” is one of the key ingredients of curry, and has been revered not just for its culinary uses, but also for its therapeutic applications in Indian culture. This bright-colored rhizome has been used for more than 6,000 years to help address many diseases.3 With today’s advances in technology, scientists are now figuring out why this plant is still widely used. Turmeric contains curcumin, a substance that has a multitude of medicinal applications. Here’s just a sample of what curcumin can do for your health:
- Fight microbes — Various studies note that curcumin may help eliminate microbes. In a 2010 study, the compound inhibited the replication of the hepatitis C virus.4 In another study, curcumin triggered early apoptosis of Candida albicans fungi.5 Bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus are not safe from curcumin as well.6
- Boost brain health — A 2015 study shows that curcumin may help increase the conversion of DHA obtained from the diet for the brain, which can help improve cognitive function and development.7
- Lower blood sugar levels — A study published in Angiology notes that curcumin may help increase insulin production, thereby helping lower blood sugar levels.8
- Increase antioxidant profile — Curcumin has been found to have detoxifying properties, according to the Journal of Applied Toxicology.9
Make Your Own Paneer From Grass Fed Milk
Paneer is an Indian cheese easily made in the comfort of your own home, typically within half an hour.10 Its unsalted, fresh taste absorbs flavors from other ingredients well, making it a popular vegetarian alternative for curried meats.11 To make paneer, all you need is:12
- Raw grass fed milk (just enough to make the amount in the recipe)
- Lemon juice or vinegar
- Salt for seasoning
To make the cheese, follow these steps:13
- Mix the milk and lemon juice or vinegar. The acidity will create curds and whey.
- Discard the whey and press the curds.
- Stir until it becomes chunky and you can create cubes for the curry recipe.
It’s important that you use raw grass fed milk when making paneer as this type of milk is better and more nutritious for you. It has higher amounts of omega-3 fats, as well as probiotics that can benefit your gut health. Furthermore, its overall vitamin profile is higher compared to pasteurized factory-farmed milk.
Spinach Gives the Curry a Different Color, and It’s Good for Your Heart, Too
Curried dishes are usually bright yellow or orange, but this recipe is different. Since the spinach is blended, it gives the dish a predominantly green color. The great thing about this approach is that it gives you all of the benefits of spinach in a very easy manner. Kids having difficulties eating their greens may easily enjoy this dish the same way Popeye loves munching on his spinach. For children, consider reducing the heat factor of the dish by using smaller quantities of spices.
One study published in Preventive Nutrition and Food Science notes that spinach contains antioxidant effects that may benefit your health. Researchers administered spinach extracts in rats and found that the plant helped decrease DNA damage and liver reactive substances.14 Spinach is also rich in nitrate, which may help boost cardiovascular health by decreasing postprandial arterial stiffness.15
Give This Green Curried Dish a Try
Curried cheese is certainly an interesting recipe. The combination of the spices and the chewiness of the cheese create an enjoyable flavor. Even more, the nutrient profile of this dish is impressive. You have a rich mixture of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals at the palm of your hands, ready to make you healthier with every bite.
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