Tag Archives: spinach

Sunday Tips & Tricks-Steaming Spinach Leaves Instead Of Blanching

Steaming Spinach: In order to soften the leaf fibre, the spinach leaves need to be cooked. To retain the bright green colour of the leaves and to reduce the loss of water-soluble Vitamins, I prefer steaming the spinach leaves instead of blanching them.

Steaming can be done in a steam/rice-cooker or with water in bowl, as shown below in the pictures. Using this method I try to minimize the Vitamin loss and retain the colour, so that the spinach gravy looks bright green and appealing. I always steam the spinach just before making the puree for my Palak Paneer dish.



Feta Cheese and Spinach Calzones

IMG_7472Pizza loving people like me and my family can never say no to a Calzone, the folded form of a pizza. The first time I saw Calzone mentioned was in the menu card in Pizza Hut. Anything that I like has to be compulsorily cooked in my kitchen, obviously it has to be as per my specification and taste. Thus the seed for Calzone making was planted in my mind.

One afternoon, my son’s friends were home for a school assignment, I made these feta cheese calzones as snacks for them and they turned out to be an instant hit with the kids. From then onwards it is a baking dish that the kids look forward to. After writing the homemade pizza post, this recipe has to follow. Surprisingly it is not a very difficult dish to make, but does need some planning in advance for the dough making. I use the pizza base dough for making the Calzone. The filling can vary according to our taste and preference. I like to make it using feta cheese and spinach. Feta cheese is the brined salty crumbly cheese which perfectly goes with boiled/steamed spinach. As the cheese itself is salty, no seasoning is required in the mixture. Let’s get making the yummy Calzones.



Refined flour(Maida)- 3 cups (300g apprx), Active dry yeast: 5-7 g (1 tsp heaped), Water: 30 ml (lukewarm), Sugar : 10 g(2 tsp), a pinch of salt, Oil: 2 tbsp Olive oil.


Mix salt to the refined flour. Take water in a bowl and heat to make it lukewarm and dissolve the sugar in it. Add the active dry yeast to this bowl of water. Cover the bowl and keep aside to let the yeast dissolve and the liquid to become foamy.

Take 3 cups/bowl of refined flour in a big bowl. Mix the foamy liquid of yeast with the flour. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to the flour. Mix the flour, and form a soft sticky dough of the flour. Knead the dough and place it in an oiled bowl and cover with a plastic wrap/cling and keep aside for 45-60 min approximately or till the dough rises to double its size. Knead the dough again for couple minutes to make it soft. This soft dough is used to make the calzone. (Check the homemade pizza post for detailed pictures.)


Feta cheese- 100 g IMG_7974

Spinach- 150-250 g

I steam the spinach in my rice cooker for couple minutes instead of boiling the leaves in water. This retains the dense green colour of the leaves and also the nutrients and vitamins. For this little quantity of spinach 2-3 min of steaming is enough.


  1. Preheat the oven to 220 C.
  2. Take a small portion of the pizza base dough, make a ball and roll it to form a circular base for filling the feta cheese mixture. Try not to roll the base too thick, it tastes better with a medium thin coat.
  3. Place the filling -mixture of crumbled feta cheese and roughly chopped spinach. Close the ends using water or milk to seal. I used a mould to get small perfectly shaped calzones.
  4. Brush the top with egg wash or milk, it gives a nice shine to the top coat. (I have used egg)
  5. Bake the calzone in a pre- heated oven at 220 C for 20-25 min or till they are evenly baked on both sides. After 10 minutes of putting them in the oven, turn them over to ensure both sides are evenly cooked.



If you have reached reading till the end, I am sure you would agree with me that it is a very easy recipe. Go ahead and try it out and find out if your family loves it as much as my kids love it.

Serving  Tip: Serve these yummy calzones with hot green chilli sauce or Tabasco sauce.


Kheema Palak

In continuation with my earlier kheema preparations, today it is time to post kheema palak (lamb mince with spinach) recipe. My dad loved the lamb mince cooked with spinach and I have seen my mom cook it so often, but I have adapted it to my taste.  I do use spinach sometimes when cooking meat or chicken. We can give the gravy a nice aroma and flavour just by adding a few leaves to the masala paste when grinding the ingredients, and also a different colour.  As I like the natural colour of the vegetables, I tend to incorporate most of it in my dishes.

Spinach or any greens should not be cooked on high flame and also not cooked for a longer period. In this recipe, spinach is cooked only till it gets bit tender. With each bite we should taste the ginger and experience the spinach and onion crunch. The stock is added to make the dish little moist, it should not be watery thin.IMG_6122 INGREDIENTS USED: 1 Bowl of finely shredded spinach

2-3 Spring Onions

4-5 Garlic cloves -finely chopped

1 small piece ginger- julienned

2-3 green chillies- finely chopped

250g- boiled lamb mince

1 bowl stock of boiled mince

1 small tomato- gas flame cooked, and pureed

Turmeric/red chilli powder/salt- as per taste

oil- 2 Tbsp.




Heat oil in pan, add the cumin, green chillies, garlic, ginger, and when this is cooked add the chopped green onion.


Then add the pureed tomatoes, mixing all the contents of the pan, then add the spinach to the pan and toss. Next add the turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Finally add the boiled lamb mince and mix everything. The meat should get evenly coated with the seasonings and all the other ingredients of the pan.

IMG_6117 Next add the meat stock, this is to keep the taste and make dish bit moist. Adding water will not bring out the desired taste as is obtained by adding the meat stock.


After adding the stock, simmer the sabzi for few minutes and then put off the flame.

Serving Options: This is a side dish, which is not spicy, so one can include it in menus which have a spicy gravy as the main dish. This can also be served with a vegetarian meal that includes dals, lentils, and other vegetables. One could even use it as a sandwich filling, but then cook it as a dry sabzi with all the liquid reduced or by not adding the stock at all. The eating choices are so many, decide how you would like to eat it. Preferred choice at my home is with hot fulkas or parathas (Indian bread types).

Have fun cooking and enjoy your meal.

ashu 🙂