Shyam Savera (Black & White)
This is a recipe of a delicate and complex dish made out of Paneer (Indian Cottage cheese) and Spinach. The art of making the spinach and paneer dumplings is the most time consuming in this recipe. It is suggested, to prepare the dumplings ahead of time and store in the freezer.
1 cup tomato puree
2 ½ tbsp. vegetable oil
½ tbsp. coriander powder
½ tsp. roasted cumin powder
½ tsp. red chili powder (or to taste)
1 tbsp. honey
½ tbsp. fenugreek
6 black peppercorns
½ inch cinnamon stick
½ cup cream (more or less depending on desired richness)
salt, to taste
1 ½ bundle spinach
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
½ tsp. Dried Mango Powder (Aamchoor in Hindi)
¼ tsp. red chili powder
salt, to taste
0.625 lbs Indian Cottage Cheese (Paneer) (approx. a quarter of large 2.5 lbs brick)
1 cup of corn flour
- Put the oil in a pan and let it heat up.
- Once the oil is hot, add coriander powder. Stir for about 40 seconds, not letting the powder burn.
- After that add the cumin powder, stir a few times, and then add the tomato puree.
- Then add all the other ingredients, except fenugreek and honey, in to the puree and continue to stir on medium heat until the puree starts turning brown.
When you can start seeing the oil separate from the gravy, add the fenugreek to the pan.
- Stir for about a minute and then add the honey.
- Stir until fully incorporated, and then add 2 cups of the water from blanching the spinach.
- Once that is fully incorporated add the cream and turn the heat down to low.
- Let the gravy cook, stirring every now and then, at least until it starts bubbling and then take it off the heat once it’s consistency is to your liking.
- Pour the gravy through a large sieve to remove all the spices and smooth out the overall consistency of the gravy.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In the meantime, fill a bowl with ice water.
- Once the pot of water is boiling put the spinach in it for about 2-3 minutes. You can do this step in batches, or all at once depending on the size of your pot and bowl.
- Once the spinach looks slightly dark green in color, put the spinach in the ice water to stop it from cooking any further. Save the water that you boiled the spinach in for the gravy.
- Strain the spinach, and squeeze into a ball to take all the excess liquid out.
Put the spinach in a blender (or use a knife if you prefer) to finely chop it. If using a blender, do not let it turn into a fine puree!
- Heat a pan with 1tbs oil and add the spinach, add amchur, chilli powder and salt. Stir for about 3 to 4 minutes or till you see the moisture reduced and the spinach looks ready to hold as a ball. Take it off the heat, let it cool in refrigerator.
- Add salt to taste in paneer and mix well.
- Take 1 1/2 tbs of paneer and add couple of raisins. Make them into small balls.
- Take 2 tbs of spinach and flatten it on your palm, place the paneer ball in the middle and wrap it.
- Roll the spinach covered paneer ball in corn flour and keep aside.
- Once all dumplings in the same of balls are done, deep fry them for about 2-3 mins or until they just start to change color. Take them out and let them cool a while.
Cut the these dumpling balls in equal halves and serve with gravy.