Palak Paneer Recipe (Pureed Spinach in Indian Cottage Cheese)

A tried and tested palak paneer recipe! Scoop up palak paneer with piping hot homemade rotis to get a taste of a much-loved North Indian dish.

Palak Paneer

I so loooove Palak Paneer! If you like Indian food and haven’t sampled this very popular North Indian dish, you’re in for a treat. And if you are already a fan, try my version.

This is a palak paneer recipe that has evolved over the years as I kept adding and subtracting ingredients to arrive at that perfect taste and texture. And I have to say I’m quite happy with the present form. Not bland but not overpowering … just the right amount of zing!

I used to add cream to the cooked spinach puree and you can certainly do that. However, it does make the dish quite heavy (we’re shallow frying the paneer too, remember). In my opinion, it’s just a bit much. And really, it tastes great even without it. So skip the cream if you want a ‘light’ version of the dish.

Have palak paneer with hot, homemade rotis and a fresh salad.

Enjoy!

Palak Paneer Recipe

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1o-ounce spinach, washed
  • 6.5 ounce paneer, cubed
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • ½” ginger root, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds (optional)
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2+1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp pure ghee for tempering (optional)
  • Salt

METHOD

1. Put the spinach in a saucepan of hot, boiling water and submerge completely. After exactly one minute, remove with a slotted spoon and plunge in a large bowl of ice-cold water immediately. Let it stand in the cold water for two minutes. This stops the cooking process and preserves the bright green colour of the leaves.

2. Remove the leaves from the water and puree in a blender along with the ginger and garlic.

3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and crackle the cumin seeds. Tip in the tomato, coriander and turmeric powders, garam masala, chilli flakes and salt. Add a splash of water and cook for 6 or 7 minutes on medium heat. The tomatoes should soften and the masala cooked through.

4. Add the pureed spinach, mix everything and again cook for 10 minutes on low heat or until the water in the spinach has evaporated. Turn off the gas.

5. Fry the paneer cubes in 1 tbsp oil and add to the spinach mixture.

6. Take out the spinach-paneer in a dish.

Tempering (optional)

7. Heat the ghee in a small frypan and add the mustard seeds. When the seeds start spluttering, pour the ghee over the spinach-paneer.

Serves 4

TOP TIPS

1. While pureeing the spinach in step 2, take care not to over-do it! The spinach should have some texture left, you don’t want a fine paste.

2. Fry the paneer cubes on a medium heat (not low or high) until they turn golden-brown. A medium heat will keep the paneer soft and prevent it from burning.

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