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Suppose you have a dish where each of its ingredients is commonly eaten raw, but the dish itself, when all ingredients are combined, is not eaten raw, and indeed would also be found on a king's table. Is there a prohibition of bishul akum on such a dish?

An example would be palak paneer, a curry commonly made of spinach, peppers, tomatoes, cheese, onions, and spices. Can a non-Jew cook palak paneer for a Jew in otherwise kosher kitchenware?

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  • Welcome to MiYodeya Mark and thanks for this first question. Great to have you learn with us!
    – mbloch
    Nov 12, 2023 at 6:02

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Indeed when the majority of ingredients in a dish can be eaten raw, the food is exempt from bishul akum

OU Kosher gives the details here

Shulchan Aruch (Y.D. 113:2) says that if a non-Jew cooked a mixture that contained some ingredients that can be eaten raw and some ingredients that require cooking, one needs to determine which ingredients are the ikar [main] and which are tafel [subsidiary].

If the ikar ingredients can be eaten raw then the food as a whole is viewed as edible raw and is exempt from bishul akum. If however, the ikar ingredients require cooking, then this food requires bishul Yisroel. If none of the ingredients are clearly the ikar ingredients, then we follow the rov (majority).

Note however that vegetables require checking for bugs, which is a very significant prohibition, and some ingredients you mention (specifically cheese) require kosher supervision. Last, cooking with onions creates additional complexity in case one mixes milk and meat utensils. As such, one needs to be extremely careful should this situation occur in practice.

Of course, consult your rabbi before implementing anything you learn here.

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