Paneer & Lentil Masala with Spinach & Lime Rice

Paneer & Lentil Masala

with Spinach & Lime Rice

55 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

At the heart of many Indian dishes is the masala, a base of sautéed aromatics and toasted spices. Here, we’re combining onion, ginger, garlic, and a bit of tomato paste with a flavorful blend of spices, including bright coriander, warming cinnamon, and fenugreek—known for its maple syrup-like aroma. It makes a delicious base for paneer (a firm, fresh Indian cheese) and lentils, simmered together to meld the flavors.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    800 Cals (est.)
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fresh
ingredients
Paneer & Lentil Masala with Spinach & Lime Rice
Title
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and medium dice the onion. Peel and finely chop the ginger. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Medium dice the cheese.

Cook the aromatics:
2 Cook the aromatics:

In a medium saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the onion, ginger, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the tomato paste; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until dark red and fragrant.

Add the lentils & cheese:
3 Add the lentils & cheese:

Add the spiceblend and a drizzle of olive oil to the saucepan. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the lentils, cheese, and 3 ½ cups of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-high. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 28 to 32 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and most of the water has been absorbed.

Cook the rice:
4 Cook the rice:

While the lentils cook, in a small saucepan, combine the rice, a big pinch of salt, and 1 cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook 14 to 16 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat and fluff the cooked rice with a fork. Cover and set aside in a warm place.

Prepare the remaining ingredients:
5 Prepare the remaining ingredients:

While the rice cooks, using a peeler, remove the green rind of the lime, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter the lime. Pick the mint leaves off the stems; discard the stems.

Finish & plate your dish:
6 Finish & plate your dish:

Add the spinach and heavy cream (shaking the bottle before opening) to the saucepan of cooked lentils and cheese. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined and the spinach has wilted. Turn off the heat. Stir in the juice of 2 lime wedges. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir the lime zest into the saucepan of cooked rice. Divide the finished rice and finished lentils and cheese between 2 dishes. Garnish with the mint (tearing the leaves just before adding). Serve with the remaining lime wedges on the side. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and medium dice the onion. Peel and finely chop the ginger. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Medium dice the cheese.

2 Cook the aromatics:

In a medium saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the onion, ginger, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the tomato paste; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until dark red and fragrant.

Cook the aromatics:
Add the lentils & cheese:
3 Add the lentils & cheese:

Add the spiceblend and a drizzle of olive oil to the saucepan. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the lentils, cheese, and 3 ½ cups of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-high. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 28 to 32 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and most of the water has been absorbed.

4 Cook the rice:

While the lentils cook, in a small saucepan, combine the rice, a big pinch of salt, and 1 cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook 14 to 16 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat and fluff the cooked rice with a fork. Cover and set aside in a warm place.

Cook the rice:
Prepare the remaining ingredients:
5 Prepare the remaining ingredients:

While the rice cooks, using a peeler, remove the green rind of the lime, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter the lime. Pick the mint leaves off the stems; discard the stems.

6 Finish & plate your dish:

Add the spinach and heavy cream (shaking the bottle before opening) to the saucepan of cooked lentils and cheese. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined and the spinach has wilted. Turn off the heat. Stir in the juice of 2 lime wedges. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir the lime zest into the saucepan of cooked rice. Divide the finished rice and finished lentils and cheese between 2 dishes. Garnish with the mint (tearing the leaves just before adding). Serve with the remaining lime wedges on the side. Enjoy!

Finish & plate your dish:
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