Palak (Spinach) Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese) is our favorite….my son loves it. In fact one day he even promised to treat me with an ice cream if I made Palak Paneer all throughout the week. The rich and healthy North Indian dish is almost always a hit with all age groups. It is a creamy green curry, moderately spiced, with paneer cubes cooked in onion-tomato and spinach base.
Here is the recipe I follow-
- 250 gms Paneer (you can also make paneer at home)
- 3 medium-sized bunches of fresh palak (spinach)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 cloves, 1-2 cardamom and 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 4 tbsps vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil or you can use Ghee (Clarified Butter)
- 2 medium onions chopped fine or onion puree
- 1 large tomato chopped fine or tomato puree
- 1 tsps garlic ginger paste
- 2 tsps coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- Cream/Malai (Milk Cream)
- ½ tsp Garam Masala Powder
- Salt to taste
Blanch the washed Palak in a vessel with boiling water for 4-5 minutes. Drain the water, wash the blanched Palak with cold water, and blend it in a mixer to form a smooth paste. Cut the paneer into equal sized cubes and shallow fry them in a tablespoon of oil. In case you are calorie conscious you need not fry Paneer, you can add the cubes to the Palak gravy without frying as well.
Take a saucepan, add oil, and once it is hot, add the cumin seeds. Once they crackle add the cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon stick. Now add the onion puree and let it fry till it becomes translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and the spices. Let this fry for another five minutes and then add tomato puree. Add cream. Now fry this, stirring continuously until the oil leaves the mixture. Add the Palak puree, bring it to boil and now add the fried Paneer cubes, sprinkle the Garam Masala powder, and stir softly.
Serve hot with Chapatti, Naan or hot steamed rice.
You can replace the paneer with tofu or potatoes too. Kasturi Methi can be added for a change in flavor.