Paneer Sak (Steamed spinach with fresh cheese)

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Prep Time: 
30 min.

High in the Tirumala hills lies Tirupati temple, the home of the richest Deity in the world, Lord Venkateshvara, and described by Srila Prabhupada, in Krishna book, as the "the most important place of pilgrimage in southern India". Catering to the needs of tens of thousands of pilgrims who visit every day, the temple executives have developed a management system which Srila Prabhupada said was super excellent and which he urged ISKCON leaders to study.

The Hare Krishna movement has a unique relationship with this temple. Out of respect for Srila Prabhupada's concern that the local preaching be increased, the temple executives gave the devotees land, funds to build a temple, and an open-air restaurant to manage, so that the pilgrims can have the opportunity to associate with devotees and purchase their books. This is the recipe for paneer sak served at the ISKCON canteen situated at the halfway point on the eight kilometer footpath to the temple.

You can find this recipe and more in The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking.

1 pound (450 grams) fresh spinach, washed and steamed
2 pinches asafetida
1 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2/3 cup (150 milliliter) sour cream (optional
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
8 ounce (225 grams) paneer, cubed
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon sugar

  1. Chop the washed and drained spinach leaves into small pieces. Heat the ghee in a saucepan over medium heat and fry the powdered spices for a moment.
  2. Put the chopped spinach into the saucepan with the 3 tablespoons of water. Cover, and cook gently until the spinach is tender. This should take about 10 minutes.
  3. Now fold in the cream and the cubes of paneer. Add the salt and sugar, stir well, and continue cooking over the same low heat for 5 more minutes.
  4. Serve paneer sak as a man dish with rice or hot chapatis or both.

You can find this recipe and more in The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking.


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