The delicate flavours of Indian spices and spicy Indian dishes are making waves all over the world. With food connoisseurs showing their appreciation for Indian food, the latter has gained more popularity in regular households in western countries as well. If you love Indian cooking and the exotic flavours associated with it, you will appreciate the very popular Indian delicacy called Palak Paneer.
Made with the very humble paneer or Indian cottage cheese and spinach, this recipe is widely eaten in northern India. Here is an equally simple, delicious and authentic version of the Palak Paneer for you.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients for Making Palak Paneer
½ kg spinach (palak)
300 grams paneer (cottage cheese)
One tbsp cumin seeds
2 green chillies
1tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter
Salt for taste
½ teaspoon of sugar
Fresh cream for garnishing
Method of Preparation for Palak Paneer
1. For this preparation, first you have to prepare the spinach for the gravy. Wash the spinach well and cut the stems off the leaves. Wash it well again and then blanch it in some water with a dash of salt. Spinach gets cooked very fast so you do not need to boil it for more than 2 or 3 minutes. If you over cook it, it may lose its beautiful bright green color.
2. After blanching the spinach put it in the blender with one green chilli if you like your food to be spicy. You do not have to make a fine puree of the spinach so just give it a light twirl. Your spinach is all set to be added into the gravy.
3. Dice your paneer into small pieces and keep it aside. Many people like their paneer hard so they fry the pieces in some oil before adding it to the main gravy. However, paneer is most enjoyable when it is soft and succulent so it is better advised that you do not fry it beforehand.
4. Take a heavy bottomed pan or an Indian Kadhai for making this dish. Add around two tablespoons of oil and one tablespoon of ghee for giving it the authentic Indian flavour. Most Indian families prefer cooking this dish in pure ghee but it might not be easily available to you so you can use any vegetable oil.
5. When the oil is hot enough add the cumin seeds into it. The seeds will crackle and release its aroma. Then you can add the green chillies after slitting them from the center so that they do not burst.
6. Now add the ginger and garlic paste into the oil and stir the masala together till you get the aroma from the masala. After your ginger garlic paste is fried in the oil add in the pureed spinach and mix it well with the spices.
7. Finally add the cubes of paneer and a touch of salt and sugar and stir well. Let it simmer for a few minutes and then add a dollop of fresh cream to this delicious vegetarian dish. Garnish with some coriander leaves and cream and serve with chapattis or Indian bread.