Gratin is a French cooking technique where a dish is covered with cheese or breadcrumbs or in some cases with eggs or butter and then baked till it has a golden brown crust on top. Mostly it’s made with potatoes but other vegetables, such as eggplants, tomatoes, cauliflower and spinach are used too. In the non vegetarian variety seafood gratings are quite popular.

Being a big fan of everything spinach, my recipe for Three Cheese Spinach Gratin is a happy fusion of our South Asian Palak Paneer ( spinach and cottage cheese curry) with the techniques of creamed spinach and gratin. It’s creamy, cheesy, spicy, flavourful and crispy on top. The result is an indulgent and hearty side dish that would satisfy both global and desi palates.

No matter how glamorous the main course is, without appropriate side dishes the dinner feels incomplete. Three Cheese Spinach Gratin makes a great side dish for roasts, specially if you are cooking for a bigger crowd. Its so quick and easy that you can bake it even at the last moment to make the dinner look extra scrumptious.

You can use any cheeses of your choice. I added the gooey cheddar, the stretchy mozzarella and the chunky cottage cheese for an ultimate cheesy treat.


3 tablespoons olive oil or butter
1 big onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed
3 heaped tablespoons plain flour
1+1/2 cup whole milk
2 cups chopped frozen spinach, thawed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder or paprika
Salt to taste
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 cup cottage cheese/paneer, cut into small cubes
1 cub bread crumbs

This Is What You Do:

Preheat oven at 200 degrees C.

Heat oil/butter in a frying pan on medium heat. Add chopped onions and crushed garlic. Cook till onions are soft and translucent.

Stir in the flour and cook for 2 mins, then slowly start to whisk in the milk. When it has all been incorporated, gently cook for 5 mins until the sauce has thickened.

Squeeze all liquid out of spinach, add to the sauce. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, black pepper, red chillies and salt.

Add all the cottage cheese cubes and half of cheddar and mozzarella.

Pour the contents of the pan into a shallow oven proof dish. Sprinkle remaining cheddar and mozzarella on top. Then finish the dish with a thick layer of bread crumbs.

Bake for 20 minutes or till the top gets crispy and golden brown.

Serve as a side with your favourite meat main or roast.

Serves 4

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