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The first time I tried this dish was in a popular restaurant in Mangalore called Palkhi. I can still remember the flavour of the crunchy spinach and paneer. Sanjeev kapoor had a similar recipe where chicken was used. I decided to try out the same using paneer instead of chicken.

This is what you’ll need

Finely chopped and deep-fried spinach: 1 cup

Paneer: 250gms (cut into cubes)

Oil for deep-frying and 1tbsp

Soya sauce: 2tbsp

Chopped garlic: 2tbsp

Chopped spring onion greens: 2tbsp

Red chilli flakes: 2tsp

Cornflour: 1 to 2 tbsp

White pepper powder to taste

Salt to taste

Oil: 1tbsp

Chopped ginger: 1/2tbsp

Celery stick: 1tbsp (chopped)

Onion: 1 medium, cut into cubes and layers separated

Chopped coriander leaves: 2tbsp

Sugar: 2tsp

Honey: 1tsp

Dried red chillies: 5 (diagonally sliced)

Sesame seeds: 1/4cup (toasted)

Let’s get cooking

1. Heat sufficient oil in a pan.

2. Take the paneer cubes in a bowl.

3. Add the white pepper powder, salt, 1 tbsp soya sauce, 1 tbsp chopped garlic, 1 tbsp chopped spring onion greens and 1 tsp chilli flakes. Mix and leave aside to marinate for 10-15 minutes.

4. Add the cornflour and mix well.

5. Deep-fry paneer in hot oil till golden and crisp. Drain on absorbent paper.

6. To prepare sauce, heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Add ginger and sauté for 30 seconds.

7. Add the celery and sauté for 30 seconds.

8. Add remaining garlic and sauté till golden.

9. Add the onion and sauté till translucent.

10. Mix in the coriander leaves and toss to mix. Add some water and mix well. Add remaining soy sauce, ½ teaspoon chilli flakes, fried paneer and toss to mix.

11. Add 1 teaspoon sugar, honey and toss to mix. Add remaining chopped spring onion greens and mix well.

12. To prepare crackling spinach, heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add dried red chillies, fried spinach, remaining chilli flakes, sesame seeds and remaining sugar and toss to mix.

13. To serve place the fried paneer in a plate and top with the crackling spinach.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4

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