Palak Paneer is a delicious, hearty North Indian dish prepared with spinach and Indian cheese. This traditional greens based vegetarian dish is a rich, smooth, creamy curry where paneer cubes are cooked in a onion-tomato-spinach based gravy which is moderately spiced with Indian spices.
I have tried various variations of the Palak Paneer curry and one of my favorites has been this particular recipe given to me by a dear Punjabi friend, Darshan.
The smooth and creamy consistency, melt in the mouth paneer cubes and the simple ingredients which go into making this dish give it a delightful subtle sweet flavor that is sure to keep you satisfied. This curry makes a great accompaniment with rotis, naan or hot steamed rice.
Palak Paneer Recipe
Recipe source: My friend Darshan
Prep & Cooking: 45mts
Serves 5-6 persons
Cuisine: North Indian
250 gms paneer (cubed and lightly fried till brown in a tsp of ghee)
3 big bunches spinach (discard the coarse stems) – blanch in hot water for 2 mts and make a paste and keep aside
1 ½-2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 onions finely chopped
2 green chillis slit length wise
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli pwd
1 tbsp coriander pwd
2 big juicy tomatoes (blanched in hot water, peeled and pureed)
1 cup water (use the water in which spinach was blanched)
salt to taste
½ tsp garam masala pwd (make a pwd of 2 cloves, 1 cardamom and 1” cinnamon stick)
1 tbsp malai (top of milk)
¼ tsp kasuri methi (optional)
1 Add ghee in a heavy bottomed vessel and add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add the onions and green chillis sauté them till light brown. Don’t burn them.
2 Add ginger garlic paste and fry further for 3 minutes. Add red chilli pwd and coriander pwd and combine well.
3 Add the tomato paste and let it cook for 5-6 mts on medium heat. Add the palak paste and let it cook further for another 4-5 mts.
4 Add the fried paneer cubes and combine. Cook covered on low heat for 3 mts. Add the palak water and salt and cook on medium heat for 10-12 mts.
5 Add malai, garam masala pwd and kasuri methi and mix well.
6 Reduce flame, cover and cook for 2 mts.
7 Serve hot with rotis or white steamed rice or rotis.
You could also add paneer directly (without frying in ghee) to the cooked spinach. Another variation you could do with the spinach is coarsely chop the spinach and stir fry in a little ghee instead of pureeing it and add it ( instead of the palak paste). But to get the creamy consistency, you have to blanch and puree the palak.