Palak Paneer – Indian cottage cheese in spinach gravy. Palak paneer is one of the most loved north Indian dishes. It is very easy to prepare and tastes delicious. It is served with naan, roti or even with any flavored rice like plain basmati rice or jeera rice.Palak paneer can be made in so many ways. This is an easy and healthy one which i finally arrived at after trying so many other recipes. There is no blanching involved in the recipe, so no loss of nutrients in the spinach.
- 2 cups palak tightly packed (100 grams)
- 2 to 3 green chilies deseeded
- ¾ cup fine chopped onions or ½ cup paste
- ½ cup tomatoes (deseeded) or puree
- ¼ tsp kasuri methi
- ½ tsp coriander powder (optional)
- ¼ tsp cumin powder
- ¼ to ½ tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp garlic paste or ginger garlic paste
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 2 green cardamoms
- 2 cloves
- ⅛ tsp cumin or jeera
- Oil or butter as needed
- 2 to 4 tbsp. Fresh cream or 10 cashews(refer notes)
- salt as needed
Process – How to make the recipe
- This step is optional. Fry paneer in a pan with 1 tsp oil for 2 to 3 mins. To keep them soft, you can also drop them in water and leave for 10 to 15 mins. Drain and set aside.
- In the same pan, add green chilies, spinach and fry for just 2 to 3 mins on a medium heat. Spinach must wilt off thoroughly. Do not overcook. Set aside to cool.
- Grind spinach with green chilies to a smooth puree.
Palak Paneer gravy
- Heat a pan with oil, add cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves and cumin, when they begin to splutter Add onions and fry till they turn transparent.
- Add ginger garlic paste and fry until the raw smell goes away.
- Add tomatoes and salt, fry till they turn mushy.
- Add kasuri methi, garam masala and coriander or cumin powder. Saute until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
- Pour half cup water and stir. Cook until the mixture thickens.
- Simmer the flame, add the pureed spinach. Mix well and cook until it begins to bubble for about 2 mins.
- Add paneer and mix. Switch off.
- This step is optional. If using cream add it now. As a substitute to cream, you can soak 10 cashews in warm water for 15 mins and blend to a smooth milk cream consistency.
- Serve palak paneer with naan, roti or rice.
(Notes):Take care not to add too much water or too much cream as it will make your gravy thin. A thicker gravy tastes better.If using cashews, soak them in warm water for 15 minutes and blend to a smooth puree. Alternately you can soak almonds for about 4 hours, peel off the skin and blend to a smooth paste or milk.