Thursday, 18 September 2014

Palak Paneer




When you are bored of eating the same vegetables everyday and want to have something that is rich yet light and easy to cook, Palak Paneer is your rescue. I love to make Palak Paneer for lunch/brunch on Sundays. It offers a simple, non-time consuming, tasty way to to incorporate healthy greens in your diet and have a wonderful meal.

It is even better when prepared out of the blue on a weekday. The surprised smiles of your loved ones is worth more than the effort you put. I made it today for lunch and the aroma tempted me so much that I almost gave up photographing it for the post. Somehow, I controlled my temptations and was able to click a few good pictures before running back to the kitchen to serve it for lunch.

Palak Paneer is probably the paneer recipe I like best; and for reasons more than one.
The ease- all you need to do is steam and purée spinach. That's probably the most time taking (read-which isn't really time taking) task in the whole recipe.
The flavor- mild and rich flavors of ginger, garlic, minimal spices and spinach..
The texture- buttery and smooth. The curry just melts in mouth.
The paneer- you can opt to either shallow fry or deep fry paneer or use it as it is; tastes superb any way.





Writing about it has made me want to have it again. But there's none left. Poor me. Never mind though. I am positive I'll make it soon again as the spinach season has only just begun! May be some guests show up unannounced (or announced, who cares?) and I get a fine excuse to prepare it.

P.S. This curry is so green, I wonder if Popeye would find out if I switched one of his spinach cans with it?

Ingredients: 

Palak (spinach)-  250 gm
Paneer (cottage cheese)- 50 gm
Onion- 1 small (like smaller than tennis ball)
Tomato- 1 large
Ginger- 1 inch piece
Garlic-3-4 nos
Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder- 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder- 1tbsp
Garam masala powder- 1/4 tsp (optional)
Turmeric powder- 2 pinches
Freshly ground black pepper powder- a generous pinch
Kasuri methi- a large pinch
Salt to taste
Oil- 2-3 tbsp and for shallow frying paneer
Fresh cream- for garnishing

Recipe:

Remove stems and wilted leaves (if any) from palak. Wash thoroughly to ensure no mud or grit particles remain.

Steam palak leaves or boil in water till wilted and turn dark green in color.

Let cool and purée.

Purée onion. tomato, ginger, garlic and cumin seeds together.

Heat 3 tbsp oil in a pan.

When heated, add onion-tomato purée and cook until raw smell of tomatoes disappears.

Meanwhile, cut paneer into 1 inch cubes and shallow fry.

Add powdered spices except pepper powder and fry for a minute.

Now add puréed spinach and mix well.

When the mixture starts to bubble add paneer cubes, salt and pepper.

Let off heat after 2 minutes and add kasuri methi and stir lightly.

Garnish with fresh cream. You can also add a tbsp of fresh cream to the curry if you like.

Serve hot with chapatis and jeera rice.