my friend shweta came over the other night and we cooked! I taught her how to make latkes and she taught me how to make palak paneer (minus the paneer). it's like indian creamed spinach.
1 10-oz bag frozen spinach, slightly defrosted
1 onion, finely diced
1 "rounded" palmful cinnamon
1 palmful red chili flakes (this does not make it very hot at all. don't be afraid)
1 palmful tumeric
1 palmful cumin
2 cloves garlic
1 tomato, finely diced
1 heaping palmful coriander
1 palmful ginger
1 palmful garam masala
a few spoonfuls UNSWEETENED sour cream or soy yogurt (about 4 Tbs)
a few spoonfuls UNSWEETENED soy cream (4 Tbs ) or 3Tbs unsweetened soy milk + 1 Tbs margarine
Everything for this recipe except the spinach should be diced super-small. if you have a food processor, this would be a good time to use it. also, alot of the measurements are vauge. thus is the beast of indian cooking. shea's mother makes the most amazing food ever and swears up and down that she NEVER measures her spices or anything beyond, like, 1 vs. 2 tomatoes. A palmful is about a 1/2 teaspoon, a "rounded" palmful is about 1.5 tsp and a heaping palmful is about a tablespoon. a few spoonfuls looks like 4 Tbs. again, rough measurements. you can tweak it to whatever tastes best to you. also, don't use anything sweetened in this. the tomato provides plenty of sweet, and the flavors will be off balance if your soy prroducts are sweetened. you can sub in mayo for the sour cream, if you so desire. also, don't use very strongly "soy" flavored soy products in this dish -- the best part of this dish is that when perfectly spiced, you can taste all the flavors of all the spice. ah-mazing.
anyway, take your very finely diced onion, cinnamon, chili, tumer and cumin. saute this in neutral oil -- I reached for the olive oil and almost got hit by my cooking partner. you have to use some sort of neutral oil for this or it'll turn out wrong. I ended up using grapeseed. saute everything in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. you want to cook the onions without caramelizing them.
when the onions are translucent and starting to brown slightly, add in the garlic and saute until the garlic becomes fragrant. at this point, add the tomatoes, coriander, ginger and garam masala. turn the heat down and use the back of your spoon to squish the tomatoes. about half of them, not all of them. slowly stir in the yogurt, sour cream, etc. add the spinach and turn the heat up again, until the spinach defrosts, stirring constantly. turn the heat down so the mixture is just bubbling and simmer with no lid for 20-25 minutes, stirring about every 5 minutes. sticking is not really a problem.
break out the blender and puree about 1/2 the mixture. if you have an immersion blender, now is a good time to get some mileage out of that. return the puree to the pan and heat. stir in the 4Tbs creamer/replacement. turn off heat and serve with basmati rice or naan. deeeelicious.