Palak Paneer - Cottage Cheese simmered in fresh Spinach Puree

Monday, September 19, 2011

I have never been a huge fan of Palak Paneer honestly. Infact, I never ate much of paneer until a couple of years ago. I don't know how many of you agree, but a good Palak Paneer is hard to come by. Either the Paneer is not fresh, or the lush green palak turns into a brown gravy once cooked or it is laden with too much spices, tomatoes or fresh cream masking the true flavour of Palak Paneer ..

So, I set out to find the almost perfect Palak Paneer recipe, And, after reading dozens of recipes, looking at various food pics & asking a lot of people on Facebook as well, I arrived at My Recipe :-)  And, I was quite satisfied with the results. Perhaps, you may want to try this ...


You Will Need:

  • 3 big bunches of fresh Spinach
  • 200g Paneer - Cut into cubes
  • 2 big white onions
  • 1 small tomato or 1/2 of a large tomato
  •  5 green chillies
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 small stick of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp cashew paste
  • 1 tbsp fresh cream or 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • Salt as per taste.

How To:
  • In a large pot, bring salted water  to a boil. Add a tsp of sugar & throw in chopped spinach & let it cook for about 3 mins
  • Drain the water & reserve some water to use in the gravy. Immediately rinse under cold water & set aside. Once cool, grind into a paste, without adding any water. Do not grind into a very smooth paste. I should be a coarse paste but smooth enough for it to blend .. so, keep this texture in mind. You can also mash the spinach with a Kadchi, if you like
  • Make a paste using onions, green chillies, cloves, cinnamom & Fennel seeds, without adding water.
  • Meanwhile, bring another pot of salted water into boil. turn off the stove & add paneer cubes. Let them rest in hot water for about 5 mins. Strain & set aside
  • In a large sauce pan, Heat oil, splutter cumin seeds & add onion paste, chopped tomatoes & saute for about 3 mins until raw smell disappears. Add cashew paste, Paneer cubes, salt & mix well. Add Pureed spinach, fresh cream or milk & mix gently. Check for salt & gently simmer for abor 2-3 mins. If the mixture is too thick, you may add the reserved liquid. However, do not make the gravy too rummy. If you are using milk instead of fresh cream, you may not need water at all.
  • Add a pinch of Garam masala before turning off the stove. Once the heat is turned off, add juice of half a lemon & mix well.
  • Let the gravy sit for a while before serving.

Serve warm with Peas Pulao, Phulkas or Naan .. Enjoi !!!

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