Sometimes the simplest ideas are also the most effective ones.
This Palak Paneer Pot Pie is one of them.
Homemade version of popular Indian classic ‘Palak Paneer’ (Palak = spinach and Paneer = fresh cottage cheese) is ladled into ramekin bowls, topped with pie crust and baked to golden goodness.
The taste is as sensational as it sounds…try it.
One of the things I like about this recipe is – you could go as ‘homemade or store-bought’ as you’d like. Make the Paneer and/or pie crust from scratch (here are my steps for making homemade Paneer) or get some at a store.
And the spinach preparation takes under 20 minutes to make.
This creation is a great go-to weekday meal…and an equally impressive entertaining option.
- 6 oz or 1½-2 cup Paneer - cottage cheese cubes (Recipe for Homemade Paneer)
- 6 cups fresh spinach leaves (frozen spinach also works)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 teaspoons of ginger garlic paste (or 1 teaspoon each minced garlic & grated ginger)
- ½ teaspoon ground red chili
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup diced tomatoes
- 1 sheet pie crust (home-made or store-bought)
- Start by making homemade Paneer - cottage cheese (here is my recipe from an earlier post) and/or pie crust, since both need time to rest before being used. If you’re using store-bought versions – start at the next step.
- Heat oil in a pan, add onions, ginger and garlic; brown for 4-5 minutes.
- Mix in spices and salt, making sure the spices cook well for another 2-3 minutes; add a few teaspoons of water if the spices stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Once the spices are done, add the tomatoes, spinach and ½ cup water. Using an immersion hand blender or food processor, blend the mixture to a thick sauce-like consistency.
- Add the Paneer cubes to the thick spinach sauce and let the flavors come together on a medium flame for a few more minutes. At this stage, you can consume this dish as-is, popularly known as ‘Palak Paneer,’ accompanied by Indian bread or rice.
- Ladle the spinach and cottage cheese mix into ramekin bowls.
- Roll out the pie crust on a flat surface and cut 4 circles sized to the edge of the bowl.
- Lay the pie crust over the ramekin bowls, completely covering the top – its fine if the crust comes over the edge. Brush egg wash over the pie crust, if desired.
- Bake at 375F for 17-22 minutes, till the top of the crust is light brown.
- Serve hot with bread rolls or Indian Naan.