Sunday, November 23, 2008

Palak Paneer (spinach) for babies and toddlers

One of my favorite Indian dishes is Palak Paneer, or spinach curry. It is a creamy spinach dish that has cubes of paneer in it (almost like farmer cheese). It was my inspiration for this dish.

Frozen chopped spinach (I usually use a 10 oz bag)
Cottage cheese (16 oz)
Turmeric (if desired)

Preparation is really easy. I thaw out the spinach in the microwave until it is warm, and mix the bag in a bowl with the cottage cheese, sprinking with the cumin to taste. You may want to do less cottage cheese (like 8 oz), or you can try some sour cream instead. I use what is on hand, what is convenient - and with cottage cheese, my toddler will gladly eat the leftover cottage cheese.

Turmeric does not have a lot of flavor, and adds color - something you may or may not want to do when you have an infant or toddler that gets food on themselves. It stains! I add it out of habit from making Indian dishes for ourselves, but it has fantastic health benefits as well. An "authentic" palak paneer dish has more Indian spices and is often spicy, but for now I like to keep it simple.

After mixing the ingredients, I simply puree in a blender. You can puree to different consistencies, making the spinach pieces as small as you like depending on the age of your toddler or baby.

I haven't tried adding "paneer", but for a toddler you could easily chop tofu into small cubes and sprinkle in.

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