July 22, 2008

Palak Paneer Recipe - How to Make Palak Paneer

TH loves Palak Paneer. If you give him butter naan and palak paneer every day, I don't think he would tire of it so easily. That and pizza!

I got some fresh organic red spinach from the wet market complete with roots and snatched up the last bunch before it was all gone. I knew there are so many great recipes for palak paneer in our blogosphere so wasn't too worried about finding one.

Zeroed in on Sailu's blog, finally. I didn't make many changes to her recipe, except for quantities of some. Be warned that this is not one of those quick and easy recipes. It takes time to cook but is definitely worth the effort and time.

Palak Paneer-Palak Paneer Recipe-Paneer Recipes

Serves 2

Ingredients for Palak Paneer:
Paneer - 1 cup
Spinach / Palak - 4 cups, shredded
Onions - 1 medium, chopped
Ripe tomatoes - 2 big, pureed
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp
Green chillies - 2, slit
Cumin - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
Curry masala - 1 tsp (optional)
Cream/malai - 1 tbsp (optional)
Ghee - 1 tbsp

How to Make Palak Paneer:

1. Heat ghee in a pan and fry the paneer cubes lightly. Drain and set aside.

2. Add cumin seeds to the leftover ghee and let them splutter. Then add the onions and green chillies, frying lightly.

3. Add ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, coriander and curry masala and fry for 2-3 minutes.

4. Add the tomato puree and let this paste cook for a good 10 minutes. It will splutter and fall all over your cook top so reduce flame to sim. Stir occasionally. Meanwhile, blanch* the spinach and make a paste in the same blender you used to puree the tomatoes.
Blanching is a cooking term that describes a process of food wherein the food substance, usually a vegetable or fruit, is plunged into boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water (shocked) to halt the cooking process. - Source
5. Add the blanched spinach to the above paste and cook for another 10 minutes or so. The ghee will start separating at this point.

6. Add the fried paneer and required water with salt. I added very little water since I like a thick gravy for this dish. Combine and cook for another 2-3 minutes, depending on how much water you have added.

7. Finally blend in the cream and stir in well before removing from fire.

I served it with chappathis but next time its going to be naan :)

- Its not necessary to blanch the spinach if you don't feel comfortable with the process. Boiling it in some water is also fine. Use that water later to make the gravy thinner as desired.

- The original recipe called for blanching and peeling the tomatoes. I avoided that too.

- Next time, I will try making a paste of the onions too because it was irritating to bite into it when the rest of the gravy was so creamy.

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