Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer is a smooth, creamy, tasty vegetarian dish originated from Indian subcontinent which is made out of paneer ( Indian cottage cheese) in a pureed spinach and seasoned with ginger garlic, garam masala and other spices.

The recipe I have shared today is very easy to make and it is very healthy too. It is a big hit in my family!! Whenever I buy both spinach and paneer together, Iam generally asked to make palak paneer. Infact my kids ask for some more and tell me to prepare it the next time too.

We are not going to blanch the spinach in this method as blanching removes most of the nutrients from it. We are going to saute the spinach for a short time till it wilts. This gives a good taste to this dish.

I have used 2 to 3 tbsp of fresh cream finally. In case if you do not have fresh cream, add 10 cashews to the spinach when sauting it and blend it to smooth in a mixer.

Home made paneer or even the store bought one works good for this recipe. If using frozen one, soak it in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes before using it. Paneer pieces can be sauted in oil before use or it can be used as fresh and can be directly added to spinach.

This palak paneer goes well with jeera rice, naan, roti, chapati, ghee rice and also with plain rice. A must try recipe ❤



INGREDIENTS





  • Spinach- 1 bunch
  • Paneer- 12 to 15 big pieces ( if using small pieces, upto 20 can be used)
  • Onion- 1 medium sized ( finely chopped)
  • Tomato- 2 ( finely chopped)
  • Ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp
  • Green chilli- 2 to 3 ( I used 2)
  • Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
  • Kasuri methi- 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala- 1/2 tsp
  • Bay leaf- 1
  • Cinnamon stick- 1 inch
  • Cloves- 2
  • Cardamom pods- 1
  • Fresh cream- 2 tbsp ( 3 tbsp can be used too)
  • Salt- as needed.

PROCEDURE

Choose only young and fresh spinach. Remove the stems or stalks of spinach/palak as they make the gravy bitter. Clean the leaves well two to three times in running water. You can also use vinegar and salt first to remove any pesticide used.

Chop the cleaned spinach/palak leaves.
Heat 1/2 tbsp of oil in a pan. Add green chillies.
Then add the cleaned spinach/palak leaves to it. We are not going to overcook it. Just saute in medium flame till leaves wilt and the raw flavor of the leaves are gone. This protects the color of spinach.
If there is moisture left from the leaves, it is fine. Do not cook till the moisture evaporates. Switch off the flame.
Let it cool down to room temperature.
Once it is cooled down, move it to a mixer. Add little water to blend till smooth.
Blended to smooth, creamy texture.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Even 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter can be used. Add bay leaf, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds.
Add the finely chopped onions. Saute till it gets translucent.
Once onions are translucent, add ginger garlic paste. Saute till the raw smell of ginger garlic goes away.
Then add the finely chopped tomatoes. Let the tomatoes turn soft.
Once the tomatoes are soft, add garam masala and salt.
Add little water to the tomatoes and cover it and cook for sometime till onion, tomatoes get well combined till smooth.
Then add kasoori methi. Crush kasuri methi in hands before adding. The gravy consistency should be thick now.
Now add the pureed spinach to the gravy.
Add little water to the same mixer jar and add it to the gravy. Remember palak paneer is little thick in consistency. Adjust water accordingly. Cook it for 1 minute. Check for the salt.
Now add the paneer cubes. Mix everything together. Cook for 1 more minute. Do not over cook as the color of spinach will change.
Pour 2 to 3 tbsp of fresh cream in top and switch off the flame. Move it from the stove.
Ready.


TIPS

  • Use good quality garam masala for better taste.
  • If using butter for cooking, add it with oil. Use oil first and then butter. This prevents butter from burning.
  • The quantity of paneer pieces can be reduced too. I normally like the gravy to have more paneer pieces.