My 103rd post, “Easy Palak Paneer Recipe | Indian Cottage Cheese in Spinach Gravy”, a bright, vibrant and healthy North Indian side . An easy Indian Curry made with Paneer Cheese which is a kind of Indian Cheese.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day !!! Green is the theme color for today and green it is. Palak Paneer is one of those dishes which I never tasted while growing up. My mom was very conscious in making me eat my leafy greens for the health benefits But it was usually the Spinach Dal she made atleast once a week.
Palak Paneer Recipe
Since this dish is very healthy, I was assuming that it would not taste good. During my restaurant visits in Chennai also I never ordered this. And even during my very few visits to North India I had tried my favorite Paneer Butter Masala, but not this one. However once I moved to US, I was lucky enough to taste this wonderful dish. It was as part of a Lunch Buffet in my favorite Indian restaurant. I was amazed at how delicious it tasted. The taste kept lingering in my mouth for a while.
Ever since that day, I wanted to try this dish at home. I made Aloo Palak once earlier. But I never attempted to make this healthy palak paneer until today. RK was saying that today was St. Patrick’s day and wanted me to prepare any dish green in color. I immediately grabbed the opportunity. Made this super healthy and famous Indian gravy. While this recipe can be made in a lot of different ways, this is more of a restaurant style palak paneer recipe. Even though this was my first time trying, it turned out super delicious. Better than what is served in Indian restaurants and one the best palak paneer I ever tasted.
- 7 Oz Paneer (½ Packet)
- 5 oz Palak / Fresh Spinach leaves (½ Packet)
- 2 small Green chilli
- ½ inch Ginger (Roughly chopped)
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Tbsp Ghee / Oil
- ½ tsp Jeera | Cumin seeds
- 1 small Onion (Finely chopped)
- 1 small Ripe tomato (Finely chopped)
- ½ tsp Salt (Adjust per taste)
- ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
- ¼ tsp Red chilli powder
- ½ tsp Garam masala powder
- 2 Tbsp Fresh cream | Heavy Cream (Optional)
- If using store bought paneer, cut them into desired shape. The paneer has to be soaked in hot water for about 10 minutes. Water has to be drained from paneer and keep aside. In case of using homemade paneer you can skip this step.
- Spinach has to be washed in in running water. Then blanch the spinach and keep it aside. i.e. Bring about a cup water or more to gentle boil, add the spinach to boiling water and let it sit for 2 minutes. Then remove the spinach from hot water and add it immediately to ice cold water. Let it sit in ice cold water for 1 minute before being used. This will help to retain its color.
- The blanched spinach to be added to the mixie or food processor. Add the ginger, garlic and green chili. Grind into smooth spinach puree without adding any water. Keep it aside.
- Ghee has to be heated in a pan in medium heat. Add the jeera and once it starts changing color, add the onion. Saute until the onion turns nice golden brown.
- Add the fresh tomatoes, salt and saute until the tomato turns fully mushy. Add the turmeric, red chili powder and saute for few minutes. Until the raw smell of masala powders are gone.
- Now, add the prepared pureed spinach and stir well. Add about ¾ cup of water. Add garam masala powder and cook in low-medium flame until the spinach gets cooked fully. By the time you can find the raw smell would have gone and the gravy would thicken slightly.
- Finally, add the cubed paneer to the gravy and mix well. Let it get cooked in gravy for 2 mins. Turn off the flame.
- Optionally, add fresh cream and mix well.
- Transfer to serving bowl. Serve hot along with any kind of Indian Bread like naan bread. Or serve with plain basmati rice or jeera rice. Enjoy.
Aren't we supposed to pressure cook spinach leaves before blanxhing/sautéing?
No Pooja, blanching is good enough. Spinach does take a very long time to cook.