Palak Paneer. Did I really have to share this recipe? Yes, I did. This is especially for one of my oldest and dearest readers turned friends, Usha who requested for a recipe a zillion years ago and I never got around to documenting my experiments. Whenever I made it I was too busy to take pictures. Sometimes the pictures turned out drab because of the weather outside. A couple of weeks ago I made a list of all the recipe requests. The ever growing list has 50 odd recipes that have been requested by various people – family, friends and readers and I am totally enjoying it. Experimenting with recipes that I probably would have never ventured into. My son is an active participant in maintaining the list which sits on my desk in the kitchen. He strikes off those I have completed and adds more that he feels I should try. Sometimes we go through emails sent by readers together. Looks like I am going to induct him into food blogging soon 🙂
Anyway, I will spare you my chatter. Let’s dive straight into today’s recipe. I was gifted a set of Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe books when I got married by one of my ex-colleagues and good friends Rajesh Khanna (not the actor 🙂 ) and although I never really tried a lot of recipes from them, I do use them as a reference when I want to make North Indian style dishes. This Palak Paneer recipe is loosely adapted from one of the cook books and we are quite pleased with the results. A special thank you to Rajesh for the lovely wedding gift. I bet you didn’t expect me to thank you after so many years 🙂
Paneer is cooked at least once a week as my son totally loves it. I do too although my tryst with it dates back to a decade or so as I didn’t grow up eating it. It is pretty versatile as one can make a lot of different dishes with it – sweet or savoury. I have a few recipes that I will be sharing soon, so do come back to check!
Have you tried these recipes?
Soft chunks of paneer (cottage cheese) dunked in a creamy, luscious lightly spiced spinach gravy
- 300 grams fresh malai paneer cubed
- 7-8 fat cloves of garlic
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
- A pinch of turmeric powder
- a fat pinch of kasuri methi
- 2 tablespoons fresh cream to stir in plus extra to garnish
- 2 tablespoons ghee or oil for frying
- Salt to taste
- 4 packed cups/2 medium big bunches 300 gms after cleaning palak / spinach leaves
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves optional
- 1-2 small green chillies adjust to taste
- 1 " ginger roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon lime juice plus extra if required
- Place the paneer cubes in a bowl of boiling water and a little salt. Cover and keep aside for 10 minutes. This will make the paneer soft.
- Wash the palak leaves in 2-3 changes of water and place in a bowl. Pour freshly boiled water over them and cover the bowl for 2 minutes. Then drain and transfer the leaves into another bowl of cold water (you can add a few ice cubes to the water). See notes
- Drain excess water from the blanched leaves and grind them to a smooth paste along with the coriander (optional), green chillies, ginger & lime juice. Keep aside.
- Heat oil or ghee in a wok/kadai and fry the cumin seeds on a medim-low heat for a few seconds before adding the minced garlic. Fry for half a minute and add the chopped onions.
- When the onions turn translucent/pale, reduce the heat completely and add the spice powders (turmeric, cumin powder, coriander powder & garam masala powder) and toss quickly for a few seconds taking care not to burn them
- Add the ground palak mixture and fry very well on a low heat for at least 7-8 minutes or till the oil begins to separate. Add salt to taste and lime juice if required.
- Whisk the fresh cream to a smooth consistency and stir in. Mix everything well and add the paneer cubes (without the water in which it was soaked). Rub the kasuri methi between your palm and spinkle. Simmer for two minutes.
- Serve hot garnished with a drizzle of more fresh cream if desired, with chapathis, rotis or parathas
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