Palak Paneer


Indian cottage cheese in spinach gravy, aka palak paneer. Yet another famous Punjabi dish that’s our family favourite too. Soft cottage cheese cooked in silky, mildly spicy spinach gravy and finished with touch of cream. My 3 year old just loves what she calls the ‘green sauce and cheese’. As long as she eats her greens, I am a happy mum!

To make palak paneer, I blanched the spinach and blend it. I then made the base of this dish using onion, ginger, garlic, tomatoes and a few spices (I add loads of garlic here and love the flavour it brings when combined with spinach). I then simmered spinach puree in it and finally added shallow fried paneer and cream. So easy to make and so delicious. Tastes so good with naan!

 

 

Ingredients:

Spinach – 2 bunch
Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) – 250 gms, cubed
Onion – 1 small, finely chopped
Tomato – 1 large, finely chopped or pureed
Ginger – ½ inch, grated
Garlic – 3-4 cloves, grated
Green chilli – 1-2 or as per taste
Bay leaf – 1
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Cream – 1-2 tbsp (optional)
Salt to taste
Butter – 2 tbsp
Oil – 1 tsp
Juice of ½ a lemon

Method:

  1. Wash the spinach thoroughly. Boil water in a stock pot. Add 1 tbsp salt to boiling water and add the spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes
  2. Strain the spinach and refresh with cold water to stop cooking any further
  3. Blend the spinach in a blender along with green chillies. Set aside
  4. Heat a fry pan, add oil. Fry the paneer cubes lightly and keep them immersed in hot water to keep them soft
  5. In the same pan and add onions and fry till golden brown
  6. Add ginger, garlic and fry for a further 1-2 minutes
  7. Now add the cumin seeds and bay leaf
  8. Once cumin splutters, add coriander powder, cumin powder, tomato and cook until the tomatoes are soft and pulpy
  9. Once the tomatoes are done and oil starts appearing at the sides, add the spinach puree and mix well. Add ½ cup hot water to adjust consistency if needed. Add salt and bring to boil
  10. Add butter. Simmer for 7-8 minutes until the spinach is completely cooked
  11. Add paneer cubes and mix gently.
  12. Add the garam masala and cream. Mix well
  13. Turn off the heat and squeeze in juice of half a lemon
  14. Serve with hot naan, multi layer paratha or jeera rice

Notes:

  • You can use tofu if paneer is not available
  • To puree tomatoes, blanch them in boiling water, peel off the skin and blend them in a mixer or blender
  • You can use fresh paneer instead of frying them if you prefer the fresh creamy taste of paneer

 

Wash and clean the spinach

Wash and clean the spinach

 

Blanch spinach in boiling water

Blanch spinach in boiling water

 

Puree the spinach along with green chillies

Puree the spinach along with green chillies

 

Fry the paneer cubes

Fry the paneer cubes

 

In the same pan add onions and frytill golden brown

In the same pan add onions and fry till golden brown

 

Once onion is done, add ginger, garlic, cumin seeds, bay leaf

Once onion is done, add ginger, garlic, cumin seeds, bay leaf

 

Add spices and tomatoes and cook until done

Add spices and tomatoes and cook until done

 

Add spinach puree and simmer

Add spinach puree and simmer

 

Mix in the paneer cubes

Mix in the paneer cubes

 

Palak paneer served with multi layer paratha

Palak paneer served with multi layer paratha

 

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