Thursday, September 22, 2016

Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer is a staple Punjabi dish, given the area's richness in greens especially palak and saag; and paneer / cottage cheese is a given :)

It's a very simple, subtle, rich and delicious preparation that will go well with hot rotis, paranthas, bread or some even relish it with rice. 

  • Palak / Spinach                 : 1 small bundle
  • Paneer / Cottage Cheese :  150 gm (1 cup of cubed paneer; dice it to the size you prefer)
  • Green Chilies                     : 4-5 (as spicy as you prefer)
  • Garlic                                   : 2-4 pods
  • Ginger                                 : 1" piece
  • Big Onion                           : 2 medium
  • Tomatoes                           : 1  small [optional]
  • Kasuri methi                     : to flavor
  • Jeera / Cumin                   : 1/2 tsp (raw or powder, optional)
  • Lemon Juice                      : 1 tspn  
  • Garam Masala                   : 1/2 tspn
  • Salt                                       : To Taste
  • Butter                                  : 1 tbspn 
  • Fresh Cream                      : 1 -2 tbspn
  1. Clean the spinach well to remove soil (use running water) 
  2. In a kadai add some water and salt. As it starts to boil, add spinach to blanch it for 2 mts
  3. Strain it and immediately place in a bowl of chilled water for 1-2 mts (to retain the green color)
  4. Allow it to cool and drain the water
  5. Make a puree of the spinach with green chilies and set aside
  6. In another mixer, make a paste of ginger, garlic, one onion and tomatoes (alternatively you can cut them into fine pieces and saute directly)
  7. In a kadai, add a tablespoon of oil. To this add saboot jeera, one diced onion and saute it. As onion turns golden, add the ginger + garlic + onion + tomatoes paste and allow it to cook till the oil starts oozing out (till the raw flavor disappears)
  8. Add the garam masala powder and salt
  9. To this, add the spinach puree. Stir and cook for 2 mts over small-medium flame
  10. To this, add some water and allow it to cook for a few more minutes with occasional stirring over small-medium flame  (till the raw flavor of the spinach disappears)
  11. To this, add the cubed paneer (some prefer it raw while some saute it to golden colorbefore adding)
  12. Allow the mixture to cook for 2 mts  (should be semi-gravy and not dried. so add water if needed while cooking)
  13. Finally, add kasoori methi and lemon juice. Stir it and remove from fire.
  14. Top it up with fresh cream and serve hot with rotis / naan / bread 
For this dish, we avoid turmeric, coriander and red chilly powder. 

It's an easy-to-cook dish as compared to many other... so, just go for it!

As a complimentary dish, you can make some Herbal Paneer

  • Sprinkle some turmeric powder, red chillie powder, salt, dried herbs and mix well. 
  • Shallow fry them to golden brown and have it hot!

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