Flavors Of Maneet Chauhan’s World

OB-YI324_ichef0_DV_20130726081904Maneet Chauhan, a chef who I had the pleasure of interviewing for an article in the Wall Street Journal, is one talented chef and a lovely lady to talk with. She has worked hard to get where she is today, among the elite of the American culinary scene. She needs little introduction, one look at her and you will know she is a Food Network regular.

Sarson Saag Paneer Spanakopita

Sarson Saag Paneer Spanakopita
Photo Credit: Quentin Bacon

Maneet is the author of a new book, Flavors Of My World. She shares her recipe for a Brazilian inspired cutlet, Bolinhos de Arroz Tikki in the WSJ article.

She was kind enough to share a fabulous recipe from her new book with me, just for The Worldly Vegetarian.This is a recipe for a Greek inspired Sarson Saag Paneer Spanakopita.


Sarson Saag Paneer Spanakopita 


· 1 lb spinach washed and chopped fine

· 1lb mustard greens washed and chopped fine

· 1/2lb frozen fenugreek leaves

· 2 green chillies

· 1 tbsp grated ginger

· 1 tbsp grated garlic

· Salt to taste

· 2-3 tbsps ghee (clarified butter)

· 1 large onion chopped

· 1 tsp garam masala powder

· 1 tbsp bengal gram flour/ maize flour

· Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

· 1/2 lb. grated paneer

· 1/2 lb. ricotta or cottage cheese

· 1/4 cup butter, melted

· 1/4 cup olive oil

· 1 lb. phyllo pastry sheets


1. Mix the greens, green chilies and salt to taste and boil in 1 cup of water till cooked.

2. Puree the greens mix well to make a course paste.

3. Dry roast the bengal gram till the raw smell disappears.

4. Heat the ghee on a medium flame. When hot add the chopped onion and saute till pale golden.

5. Add ginger, garlic, garam masala and gram flour.

6. Add the greens mix to this and stir till blended. Remove from heat and set the spinach aside to cool.

7. In a large mixing bowl, combine the grated paneer, and ricotta cheese. Add the cooled spinach mixture and mix until combined.

8. Combine the melted butter with the olive oil in a bowl. Using a pastry brush, lightly grease two 9 x 12 rectangular pans.

9. Carefully remove the Phyllo roll from the plastic sleeve. Most packages come in 12 x 18 inch sheets when opened fully. Using a scissor or sharp knife, cut the sheets in half to make two stacks of 9×12 inch sheets. To prevent drying, cover one stack with wax paper and a damp paper towel while working with the other.

10. Layer about 10 sheets on the bottom of the pan making sure to brush each sheet with the butter/olive oil mixture. Add half of the spinach mixture in an even layer and press with a spatula to flatten.

11. Layer another 10 sheets on top of the spinach mixture making sure to brush well with butter/olive oil mixture. Repeat the process with the second pan. Before baking, score the top layer of phyllo (making sure not to puncture filling layer) to enable easier cutting of pieces later.

12. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until deep golden brown for approximately 20 to 25 minutes.

Try serving this with the Summer Arugula and Mango Salad. Enjoy!

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