We have been forced back indoors. Today, at the height of Spring, a cold front blew in and the temperature plummeted to 8.5 celsius. That’s Melbourne for you.
Yesterday afternoon was a different story. I felt like Mortisha in my Melbourne black: the hot sun beat down on my layered clothing, making the post- prandial walk quite uncomfortable. For those readers who live anywhere in the world but Melbourne, I should mention that Melbournians favour black dressing.
We had lunched at the Woodlands Hotel, a quirky hotel with an unusual menu, in Sydney Road, Coburg. We were merrily celebrating a birthday and enjoying a post- Bali get together when I noticed Madame Rosalie’s curry, a play on that Indian classic, Muttar Paneer, only substituting silverbeet and broad beans for the peas. What a brilliant idea! These seasonal vegetables have reached plague proportions in my garden. Today I’m making a silver beet Paneer curry, then next week, the Muttar Paneer, substituting broad beans for regular peas, using the same curry base as below.
- A big bunch of young silver beet
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or ghee
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2cm piece of ginger, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 120 ml thickened cream, (or whey from paneer or yoghurt making, as well as some cream)
- 200gr paneer, cut into 2cm square cubes, either purchased or homemade.
Strip leaves from silver beet and add to a large pan, and add a little water. (Use stalks for another recipe). Cook quickly until the leaves are wilted but still vibrant looking. Drain, and squeeze out as much moisture as you can.
Meanwhile in a heavy based pot, heat oil or ghee, then add onion, garlic and ginger and cook until the onion has softened. Add the chopped tomato, and spices (except garam masala) . Stir for 30 seconds, then add a little whey or cream to loosen. Add the silver beet leaves, salt and sugar, and the rest of the cream. Cook on low heat for a few minutes, stirring. When cooler, use an immersion blender and puree the mixture.
Return to the stove, heat gently, then add the chopped paneer and the garam masala. Swirl through a little more cream when serving.
This dish is ample for four, with rice, assuming that there is another dish, such as dhal or another curry, and raita.
Just like the cucina povera of Italy, Indian food costs little to make. The ingredients came from the garden or the pantry. The blow out was the purchased paneer. Next time, I’ll make my own.
Footnote: this tastes even better the next day!
22 thoughts on “Silver Beet Paneer: Curry for a Cold Snap”
I have had saag paneer many times. Yum. Thanks for the recipe. I’ve pinched it of course.
Yes Saag Paneer is a regular on Indian menus. I can’t grow Spinach successfully here. I am on a mission to adapt all my recipes to the garden goodies, rather than run to the shops whenever I feel like something. I always assumed that silver beet would be too coarse,that the taste and texture would be wrong, but no, the silverbeet worked a treat, no discernable difference.
We’re enjoying the warmth of Brisbane this week. It’s no secret that I like all things Indian, I’d love this for dinner no matter what the weather was doing. I think that silverbeet and spices have a natural affinity….
I love paneer, Francesca… love the sound of your curries. Yum.
The curries are economical and healthy. I am on a mission to use up the garden produce. F x
Ah, enjoy Brisbane with Leah. The two of you in the kitchen, Yum.
Yum! I’m not sure my kids would like this , but it would make great lunches for work…
I know- it’s a bit spicy and far too green for most kids, The kids get the rice and dhal- oh, I have noiced that kids, even fussy ones, like dhal.
Mine certainly like rice, I’ll have to try the dhal 😉
Oh, I wish for a plague of silver beet! And, like your other comments, saag paneer is a favourite around here and I can imagine it would get even better with the more robust silver beet. Curries of all sorts usually taste better the next day. Looking forward to hear your tales of paneer making.
It’s odd, but while enjoying eating and making saag paneer for years, I never made the mental connection with silverbeet, thinking that the latter was just too coarse. There was no discernable difference, but I did use youngish leaves. I make my own yoghurt every week and use the whey to thin curries, ( a trick I learnt in a previous life) but now, on to paneer,
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Thanks Miss .. I think it is going to be a curry weekend 🙂
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Cheap and easy, x
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mmm and mmm and mmmm
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When we left Sydney it was freezing too! The weather is crazy but a good excuse for a curry.
Yes, it does sound a bit chilly! We had 0 Celsius this morning, but winter is coming so it is to be expected. Your dish sounds so tasty, wishing I could reach into the screen for a taste!
Yum – sounds delicious! I really should replant some silverbeet – my chickens ate all of the last lot that was growing in the garden.
Chickens love silverbeet- I pull up twhole plants and throw them over the garden fence into their run. I have to keep them out of the garden- they eat everything in sight.
It’s turned cold here too – not sure what’s going on! This looks like the perfect dish for the dodgy weather, and we have heaps of rainbow chard in the garden that would work perfectly. Thanks Francesca! 🙂
Thanks Celia, the silverbeet has gone crazy-growing in the paths. The chooks are enjoying their share too,
The Stockholmers also prefer to dress in black. At this season (late autumn here; dark and cold) people look like cold jackdaws or crows, all wrapped up in dark coats and scarves.
Must visit there on day- I’ll fit right in.