2 bunches spinach
1 quantity panir or 250 g/8 oz baked ricotta
1 tablespoon ghee or oil
1 teaspoon panch phora
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
250 ml/8 oz/1 cup natural yogurt
salt to taste
1 teaspoon garam masala
Wash spinach in several changes of cold water and put leaves into a saucepan with moisture that clings. Cover and steam for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and chop. Cut cheese into 2.5 cm (1 in) dice.
Heat ghee or oil and fry panch phora until mustard seeds pop. Add turmeric, cumin and ginger and stir for a minute, then add spinach and mix well. Stir in yogurt, season with salt and when mixture is heated through add cheese and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with garam masala towards end of cooking. Serve with rice or flat bread.
Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)