Palak Paneer is a North Indian dish made up of soft paneer pieces coated in a mildly spiced spinach based gravy.It is a treat to the vegetarian palate and is a good option to consume the goodness of spinach as it is full of flavours.For years now this dish has shown its presence in an Indian party menu and has become so popular that if one asks for a nice recipe using spinach ,this is the first one to come in mind as it is liked by many.This makes even struggling mothers to feed their kids with spinach easier apart from telling the tales of “Popeye the Sailor man”who eats spinach.The contrasting buttery white pieces of paneer dipped in vibrant green colored spinach gravy makes for the visual delight too apart from the taste and nutritional aspects.So below follows the recipe of the visually appealing full of flavors “Palak Paneer”
- 400 gm paneer/cottage cheese
- 800 gm spinach
- 1 medium onion
- 4-5 garlic cloves
- 2″ ginger
- 3-4 green chilies
- 1 large tomato
- 2-3 tbsp kasuri methi(dry fenugreek leaves)
- 1 tsp cumin( jeera)
- 1/2 tsp hing /asofoetida
- 2 black cardamom
- 2″ cinnamon stick
- 4-5 cloves
- 6-7 black pepper corns
- Salt to taste
- 2-3 tbsp cream(optional)
Preparing the spinach puree
- Blanch the spinach leaves in salted water for 2 minutes.Drain and immerse it in cold water immediately to stop further cooking and to maintain the bright green color as well.
- Drain the water and blend it to make its puree.
Preparing the Panir
- Cut the paneer into 1’cubes and shallow fry them lightly.Do not over fry otherwise it will loose its softness and will become leathery.Keep aside till you prepare the gravy.You may also add without frying if you wish to do so.
Preparing the gravy
- Grind together onion,garlic ,ginger and green chilies.
- Puree the tomato as well.
- Heat 2-3 tbsp of ghee/oil in a skillet.
- Once the oil is hot add in the ground onion,ginger ,green chilies and garlic paste.
- Cook till it leaves the oil.
- Add in the tomato puree and about 2 tbsp of kasuri methi.Cook it well till oil separates .
- Add in the spinach puree,mix well and adjust the consistency of the gravy by adding little water.
- Season it with salt as per taste.
- Simultaneously heat ghee in a tadka pan (tempering pan).Add in the cumin seeds,red chilies.hing and slightly crushed black cardamom,cloves,cinnamon and pepper corns.Switch off the flame and add the remaining kasuri methi and immediately pour in the gravy.
- Simmer the gravy with the tempering for about 5 minutes.
- Add fried cottage cheese/paneer and serve hot along with buttered naan,parathas,chapatis or rice.
- The gravy can be topped with a dollop of butter for extra flavor.
- Generally while preparing the gravy whole spices are added into the oil first but here in the above recipe I have done it the other way round by adding them in the form of tempering to the gravy.It could be done both ways but tempering does makes the difference to the dish.
SO TO ALL MY READERS IF YOU LIKE THIS RECIPE AND LOVE THE COMBINATION OF PALAK WITH PANEER THEN DO GIVE IT A SHOT……………………………………..
HAPPY COOKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TILL I AM BACK ………………..