Paneer Recipes

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Indian-style Spinach Phyllo Cups Recipe

After learning how to make so many Indian dishes from my husband's paternal grandmother, I noticed that most meals were served family-style with chapati bread, naan, or basmati rice. Our guests love Indian cuisine, so I started to include a few of my favorite dishes, made into bit-sized portions.

I love serving finger food. It allows your guests to easily mix and mingle right before the more formal sit-down part of the meal. Palak paneer phyllo cups are one of the many appetizers I've developed over the years. 

These spinach appetizers require 4 steps: forming the phyllo cups, pan-frying the cubes of paneer cheese, making the Indian spinach and cheese filling and assembling at the last minute when the guests are about to arrive. I usually do the prep way in advance so I can have a stress-free party and start the evening in a good and calm spirit.


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Lavash Spanakopita (Palak Paneer Purses) Recipe

This is an Indian take on the classic Greek fare  with a healthy twist. I prepared the savory "pastry" with spinach-flavored lavash bread and used palak paneer as the filling.

Many Indian dishes are served family-style and this is a great way to turn palak paneer into individual servings. We had many guests over the weekend and I served these fusion-style appetizers with raita sauce on the side.  

Quick note: I'm going to be in Houston this weekend for my first interview with Cleverley Stone on her show on CBS Sports & Entertainment Radio this Saturday, August 31st at 10 am. Then I will be heading to Barnes & Noble at 2 pm for a cooking demo, followed by a book signing. If you live in Houston or in the area, stop by and sample some of the food from my second cookbook, Banh Mi.

Barnes & Noble Fairway Market Place, 5656 Fairmont Parkway, Pasadena, Texas  at 2pm on Saturday, August 31st, 2013.  (No need for the ZIP code, since people won’t be mailing anything to you there.)


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Paneer Masala Mushroom Appetizers Recipe

Paneer masala is pan-fried paneer cheese simmered in a spicy, creamy sauce. It is amazing with plain basmati rice or hot naan. But instead of serving this dish the traditional way, I used it as a filling for mushrooms. The bold flavor of the curry sauce marries beautifully with the earthiness of the mushrooms; they make the most delicious fusion appetizers.

The idea for these cute appetizers was inspired by my aunt, Ma Mười. She told me the first time she tried Indian food years ago at a restaurant, she was served a lot of little metal tins filled with colorful sauces. After a while, she asked the waiter when her main meal was going to arrive. She thought they were condiments and didn't realize that was her entire meal.

These appetizers showcase the wonderful flavors of Indian cuisine for those who are not really familiar with this culture. I've prepared pizzas, "naaninis" and other fusion dishes with Indian toppings in the past. Indian cuisine is boldly flavored, so pairing it with simple and attractive presentation techniques is a low-risk strategy for producing delicious new dishes.


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