Palak Paneer

(6 servings)

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

I always go back to this dish when I think of home. Palak paneer – simply translated as spinach cottage cheese is the kind of dish you cant get enough of. Simple, delicious and homely, this recipe can be whipped up in 20 minutes! Yup it’s that easy. I have my own take on this dish where I also add green peas to the spinach before I purée. Gives a smoother, thicker consistency and obviously more the greens the healthier it is! You can pair it with rice, roti or naan bread.

Ingredients

  • 1 packet baby spinach or 1 bunch spinach
  • 1 block fresh paneer or cottage cheese
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove chopped fine
  • 1 inch fresh ginger chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 green chili deseeded
  • 1/2 cup frozen sweet green peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin
  • 5 no. Whole cloves
  • 2 no. Whole cardamom
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon amchur
  • 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

In a large vessel over low heat add about 1/2 cup water, spinach, fresh cilantro, chili and frozen peas. Cover and cook till spinach reduces and is completely cooked. Set aside to cool and then grind to a smooth paste in a good processor.

In a medium vessel heat 2 tablespoon of ghee over medium heat. Add in the whole spices and sauté. Add in the onions and sauté till golden brown. While sautéing the onions add salt. This allows the onions to sweat and cook better. Add in the garlic and ginger and sauté another minute or so.

While the onion is cooking grind the tomatoes to a purée in a food processor and add to the vessel. Add in the cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika and amchur powder. Cook until the tomato purée is reduced and changes color to a bright red (about 5 minutes).

Now add in the puréed spinach, mix well and bring to a low boil. While the curry boils, cut the paneer block into equal size cubes and add to the curry. Some recipes ask that you fry the paneer cubes before adding to the curry. I prefer not too and is not required if the paneer is form enough.

Add in the garam masala and adjust salt and pepper. Stir very slowly to not break the paneer cubes. Bring to a boil. Top with heavy cream and dried fenugreek leaves and serve with rice or roti.

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