Cauliflower and Spinach Bhaji
This simple vegetarian curry is loaded with flavour and comes together in less than an hour – including the homemade paneer!
- 8 cups (2 L) milk
- ¼ cup (60 mL) lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp (45 mL) vegetable oil, divided
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh ginger, minced
- 2 tsp (10 mL) ground coriander
- 2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin
- 2 tsp (10 mL) ground turmeric
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- ½ tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper
- 1 can (14 oz/498 mL) diced tomatoes
- 1 ½ cups (375 mL) vegetable broth
- 1 package (142 g) baby spinach, or frozen whole leaf spinach, thawed
- measuring cups and spoons
- large saucepan
- wooden spoon
- cutting board and knife
- large non-stick skillet
- Pour milk into large saucepan set over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes or until steaming. Stir in lemon juice. Cook for 1 minute or until milk splits into white curds and yellow-clear whey; remove from heat.
- Pour through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Rinse gently curds with water.
- Gather cheesecloth together and twist to make a ball, squeezing to release as much liquid as possible. Place in fine-mesh sieve set over bowl; top with large can. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Remove cheesecloth; cut cheese into 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick slices, then into cubes.
- Heat 2 Tbsp (30 mL) oil in large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Fry paneer for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until golden. Transfer to plate; set aside.
- While the paneer is in the fridge, in large saucepan set over medium heat, heat remaining oil and butter.
- Cook onion for about 3 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin and turmeric; cook for about 2 minutes or until fragrant.
- Add cauliflower, stirring to coat; stir in salt, pepper and cayenne. Stir in tomatoes and broth; bring to boil.
- Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
- Add spinach; cover and let stand for 2 minutes. Stir in reserved paneer until evenly coated.
- When making paneer, if milk doesn’t immediately form curds after adding the lemon juice, add up to 2 tbsp (30 mL) additional lemon juice until curds separate from whey.
- Don’t throw the whey away! It’s a great source of vitamins and protein; add it to smoothies, use it to make pancakes, biscuits or bread, or use it in homemade salad dressings or marinades for meat.