After making the palak paneer frittata, I realized that this provided a typical example of how I come up with my salad and frittata recipes. First, on coming up with the basic idea: I was shopping at a new store, just looking around, and saw that they had paneer, the Indian cheese, which is not available in many stores. This made me think of palak paneer, one of my favorite Indian dishes. And that make me think, spinach and cheese are both ingredients that work well in a frittata. So why not a palak paneer frittata?
Next come the details of the ingredients and how to make it. To give it an Indian flavor, some spices should be added. Garam masala was an obvious one. My next step, which I often do, was a Google search for recipes, in this case, for palak paneer. I’m not doing this with the intent of following any specific recipe. The objective is to get ideas for potential ingredients and their quantities. This led to my adding the cumin seeds, onion, ground ginger, and garlic. A lot of the recipes also included chiles or chile pepper, but I didn’t want to include that.
Then on the preparation: Heating the cumin seeds until they sputtered was mentioned in the recipes, and I knew about that from other Indian food I have made. Of course the onion and garlic would have to be cooked. For palak paneer the spinach is completely cooked and pureed. But for me, spinach that has just been wilted works well in a frittata. Finally, briefly frying the cubes of paneer came from several of the recipes.
One thing I nearly always do when making a new preparation is to plan all of the quantitites first and measure things out during the preparation. I record this information along with the basic procedure followed for the preparation. Of course I need this for salad and frittata recipes for this blog. But I began doing this years before starting the blog for all sorts of food that I would cook. If I make something and conclude that the results are great, I want to have the information to be able to make it the same way again. Sometimes I will make something and conclude that it’s good but that it could be improved if I used more or less of some ingredients or changed the preparation in some way, perhaps cooking a longer or shorter time. So I note that on the recipe as well so I can make the change the next time. Of course I can only add more or less than I used the first time if I have a record of how much that was.
If you like to make up new recipes, I would encourage you keep such a record. It helps when making something again, and doing so provides a sense of accomplishment. I keep all my recipes, including those created by others, along with early ideas for new recipes, in the Notes program that comes on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac (and syncs among the devices). It’s handy to have my iPhone or iPad in the kitchen to refer to a recipe as I am cooking. But any app that that provides for the creation and storage of separate notes or a dedicated recipe app could be used.