Palak Paneer- Spinach With Indian Cottage Cheese

IngredientsJump straight to recipe

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Palak paneer is one of North India’s most popular dish, well for that matter anything that has paneer in it is a hit in India. If you go to Indian restaurants you will probably find 3-4 varieties of paneer on the menu, without doubt paneer is India’s most fancy ‘vegetable’.

Paneer is cottage cheese which is made by curdling the milk, draining the liquid and then letting the cheese set by putting weight on it for 3-4 hours. Earlier I used to get it from the India store but now I make it at home – it’s soft, fresh and organic! I do not get organic paneer here and so when I make my own using organic milk, my paneer obviously becomes organic too. I am never going back to that frozen packet at the Indian store.

In palak paneer, spinach or palak as it’s called in Hindi is blanched and pureed. It’s then cooked with spices and simmered on low heat with paneer. Cream is added to cut down on the bitterness of the spinach leaves but you can also use milk or yogurt instead. No harm in cutting down the calories right?

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Everyone has their own way of making this dish and frankly I also make it in a different way every time I cook it. I have this bad habit of always trying to cook the same dish in 10 different ways. This particular recipe is very simple, I hardly used any spices but the next time I make palak paneer it might not be like this at all.

In this recipe I have used lot of garlic because I love it’s flavor with spinach but if you aren’t a garlic fan you can cut down on it accordingly. Also using tomatoes is optional, it doesn’t really make or break this dish. I have often made palak paneer with only onions and it comes out great.

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This is a simple homemade and healthy palak paneer recipe, nothing fancy about it. Enjoy it with naan/roti or plain rice.

 

Method

Blanch the spinach leaves by putting them in boiling water with little salt for 2-3 minutes. Take them out and put them in cold water so that the leaves retain their green color. Puree the leaves in a blender along with tomato, ginger and 2 garlic cloves. Set aside.

You can puree the mixture to a very fine paste and add some water too while blending. I didn’t add any water kept it little coarse.

Palak-Paneer-Recipe-Step-1-notitle-cwmIn a wok/pan, heat 2 tsp of oil. Once hot, add the remaining garlic [chopped], saute for few minutes till its golden brown in color and then add the chopped onions. Fry the onions till translucent and raw smell goes away. Add in the spinach paste, add water according to how thick or thin you want the sauce to be. I added around 1.5 cups water.

Cover and cook the spinach for 15 minutes on medium flame [the spinach will bubble a lot]. Stir at regular intervals to avoid sticking at the bottom.

Palak-Paneer-Recipe-Step-2-notitle-cwmOnce the spinach is cooked, add turmeric powder, garam masala, red chilli powder and salt. Mix and cook for 2-3 minutes. Next add the milk/cream, you can also use yogurt here. Mix and add the paneer pieces and let it simmer for 5 minutes.

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Switch off the flame, add lemon juice and kasuri methi [dry fenugreek leaves] and mix.

Serve hot with naan/roti/rice.

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* For a vegan version, use tofu in stead of paneer and skip the cream/milk.

* You can add water while pureeing the spinach and blend it to a fine paste. Use strainer to get a smooth paste.

* Adjust water in the recipe according to your preference and taste.

* You can definitely add spices like coriander powder, cumin powder, fennel seeds etc.

* Paneer pieces can be fried in little oil before adding them to the spinach paste.

* If the spinach is too bitter for your taste, you can also add some sugar.

Palak Paneer

Serves: 4-5

Palak Paneer is a popular Indian vegetarian recipe where Indian cottage cheese is cooked with spinach puree. Delicious & healthy!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb spinach
  • 225 gms paneer
  • 1 big onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato , small
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch ginger
  • ¾ tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ⅛ tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream, or use milk
  • ½ tbsp kasuri methi, crushed
  • lemon juice
  • salt, as required
  • water, as required
Instructions
  1. Blanch the spinach leaves by putting them in boiling water with little salt for 2-3 minutes. Take them out and put them in cold water so that the leaves retain their green color. Puree the leaves in a blender along with tomato, ginger and 2 garlic cloves. Set aside.
  2. In a wok/pan, heat 2 tsp of oil. Once hot, add chopped garlic and saute for few minutes till its golden brown in color.
  3. Add the chopped onions. Fry the onions till translucent and raw smell goes away. Add in the spinach paste, add water according to how thick or thin you want the sauce to be.
  4. Cover and cook the spinach for 15 minutes on medium flame.
  5. Stir at regular intervals to avoid sticking at the bottom.
  6. Once the spinach is cooked, add turmeric powder, garam masala, red chilli powder and salt. Mix and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add the milk/cream, mix and add the paneer pieces and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Switch off the flame. Add lemon juice, kasuri methi and mix.
  9. Serve hot with naan,roti or rice.

 

 

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