Palak Paneer

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This traditional North Indian vegetarian dish is a rich, smooth, creamy curry in which paneer cubes are cooked in an onion-tomato-spinach-based gravy moderately spiced with Indian spices. Sub farmer's cheese for the paneer, and homemade yogurt for the malai to make this SCD legal.
1 cup paneer
3 large bunches spinach, discard coarse stems
1 1/2 - 2 Tbsps ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 onions, finely chopped
2 green chiles, slit lengthwise
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp red chili powder
1 Tbsp coriander powder
2 large juicy tomatoes, blanched, peeled and pureed
1 cup water (use the water in which spinach was blanched)
Salt, to taste
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 Tbsp malai*
1/4 tsp fenugreek leaves (optional)
1. Cube the paneer and lightly fry in 1 tsp of ghee until browned. Soak in hot water for 5 minutes, drain on tissue and set aside.
2. Blanch the spinach in hot water for 2 minutes; drain, reserving 1 cup of the water. Puree the spinach and set aside.
3. Add ghee to a heavy bottomed vessel and add cumin seeds, heating until the seeds begin to splutter. Add the onions and green chillies to the pan; saute until light brown, but don't burn.
4. Add ginger-garlic paste and fry for 3 minutes. Add red chili powder and coriander powder and combine well.
5. Add the tomato puree and let it cook for 5-6 minutes on medium heat. Add the spinach paste and let it cook further for another 4-5 minutes.
6. Add the fried paneer cubes and combine. Cook covered on low heat for 3 minutes. Add the spinach water and salt and cook on medium heat for another 10-12 minutes.
7. Add malai, garam masala powder and fenugreek; mix well, reduce flame, cover and cook for 2 minutes.
8. Serve hot with rotis or white steamed rice.
*Malai is what westerners know as clotted or Devonshire cream, and is incredibly hard to find in the U.S. You can either try making your own or, since this recipe calls for so little, simply use heavy whipping cream.

If you wish, you can add the paneer without frying it in ghee.

Instead of pureeing the spinach you may also coarsely chop it and stir fry it in a little ghee; however, to get the creamy consistency, you must blanch and puree the spinach.
Meal   DinnerCuisine   Indian
Cooking Method   Sauteed

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