Palak Paneer- Spinach With Indian Cottage Cheese

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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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How to Make Palak Paneer Recipe

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 spinach leaves in a blender along with tomato, 3 cloves of garlic, ginger and green chili. Set aside. You can add some water too while blending. I didn’t add any water.

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In a wok/pan, heat oil on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the remaining 2 cloves of chopped garlic and saute for few minutes until it starts turning golden brown in color.

Then add the chopped onions. Fry the onions until translucent and the raw smell goes away.

Add in the spinach paste and mix. Add water according to how thick or thin you want the sauce to be. I added around 1/2 cup water at the point. Cover the pan and cook the spinach puree for 10 minutes on medium flame [the spinach will bubble a lot]. Stir at regular intervals to avoid sticking at the bottom.

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Once the spinach is cooked, add garam masala, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Mix and cook for 1 minute.

Then add the heavy cream and mix. You may use use milk or yogurt in place of cream if you like.

And then add the paneer and mix. Let the curry simmer for 3-4 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

Palak Paneer is a popular Indian vegetarian recipe where Indian cottage cheese is cooked with spinach puree. Delicious & healthy!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 234 kcal
Author: Manali
4.39 from 13 votes
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Ingredients

  • 400 grams spinach
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 5 garlic cloves, divided, 3 whole and 2 finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 green chili
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup water, or as needed
  • 3/4-1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder, or to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream, or use milk
  • 225 grams paneer
  • 1/2 tablespoon kasuri methi, crushed
  • lemon juice, to taste

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 spinach leaves in a blender along with tomato, 3 cloves of garlic, ginger and green chili. Set aside.

  2. In a wok/pan, heat oil on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the remaining 2 cloves of chopped garlic and saute for few minutes until it starts turning golden brown in color.

  3. Then add the chopped onions. Fry the onions until translucent and the raw smell goes away. 

  4. Add in the spinach paste and mix. Add water according to how thick or thin you want the sauce to be. I added around 1/2 cup water at the point.

  5. Cover the pan and cook the spinach puree for 10 minutes on medium flame. Stir at regular intervals to avoid sticking at the bottom.

  6. Once the spinach is cooked, add garam masala, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Mix and cook for 1 minute.

  7. Add the heavy cream and paneer and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes. You may also use milk or yogurt in place of cream.

  8. Switch off the flame. Add lemon juice, kasuri methi and mix.
  9. Serve palak paneer hot with naan, roti or rice.

Nutrition Facts
Palak Paneer
Amount Per Serving
Calories 234 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 26%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 109mg 5%
Potassium 684mg 20%
Total Carbohydrates 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 1g
Protein 11g 22%
Vitamin A 215.4%
Vitamin C 42.2%
Calcium 39.9%
Iron 18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

 

17 thoughts on “Palak Paneer- Spinach With Indian Cottage Cheese

  1. Manali, can I use frozen spinach for this recipe? If each pack of frozen spinach is 1 pound, should I use one pack for this recipe?

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