Monday, February 24, 2014

Palak Paneer Mini Pies Recipe

The last one month has been a fun and totally fun time diving back into my culinary interest. On both cooking and eating side. For my second 5th wedding anniversary, that is the anniversary of my second wedding ceremony (with the same husband) we had our families over and I was so into the mood to cook up several storms.

I had this canned spinach that I wanted to make into a pie, however my pie crust skills leaves a lot to be desired. Since I had some popiah skin in the freezer, I got inspired to make mini pies in the muffin tray instead.

Initially it was meant to be western spinach with ricotta cheese pie. But later I had my mom driving up with a packet of paneer (that is Indian cottage cheese), and so I did not have to go out hunting for ricotta at all. So here is the recipe for you to see, try and savour them!

You Need:

Chopped onion & garlic
1 can spinach
2 tbsp cumin powder
2 tbsp coriander powder
1 cup milk
some salt & pepper for seasoning
some grated cheddar cheese
some olive oil
Baking spray to grease the muffin pan
Popiah skin
1 cup paneer, defrosted


1) Sautee onion and garlic in the olive oil till fragrant. Add the spinach, cumin and coriander powder and let it cook for 5 mins.
2) Add the milk and let it cook for 10 to 15 mins and simmer.
3) Once the mixture has reduced, add the paneer and season with salt and pepper.
4) Turn the fire off and let it cook for 10-20mins.
5) Grease the muffin pan with baking spray.
6) Lay one layer of popiah skin. Spray another layer of baking spray, and lay another layer of popiah skin in a way that the corners are not on top of each other.
7) Put your spinach filling in. Top it up with cheddar cheese. Repeat this for all mini pies.
8) In a preheated oven bake at 150C for 15 to 20 mins till brown and crispy.
9) Let it cool and then you can literally dig in.

We usually store the paneer in the freezer, and defrost it right before cooking. The best way to cook paneer is to shallow fry it and keep it aside while you cook the gravy. Only in the end you can put the paneer in without worrying that it might break up. They don't really need much to be cooked. However in this case I had mashed the paneer, so it was important to put it into the whole dish and let it incorporate.

My sister swears it turned out to be traditional Indian Palak Paneer instead of the western intention. Which anyhow is a good thing considering we were all waiting to have it into our tummies!

And what else is new, or rather green, other than my palak paneer? Well I am developing and exploring into a new interest. That is growing my own vegetable patch. So here is a glimpse of my tiny sprouts coming out of the choy sum seeds.

It is thrilling to see them come up like that with my TLC. Still hope I would manage to eat them once they grow up green and healthy!

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