Palak Paneer Recipe or Indian Cottage Cheese with Spinach Recipe
Palak Paneer is a popular North Indian Paneer gravy dish. It is a favourite vegetarian cottage cheese preparation in which soft Cottage Cheese (Paneer) cubes are cooked in a smooth Spinach (Palak) curry. It is a perfect blend of taste and health.
Palak Paneer or Indian Cottage Cheese with Spinach is a creamily beautiful dish. Palak Paneer is a much loved classic vegetarian North Indian dish. It is quick & easy to make and is incredibly healthy too.
I am usually biased toward my comfort food. Inevitably, it’s a spicy lamb/chicken curry, with dal fry and saag paneer or palak paneer if you must.
SAAG OR PALAK PANEER
In India, this ever-popular dish is known as palak paneer – saag is actually just a generic word for greens in India and includes mustard leaves (sarson), purslane (luni) and fresh fenugreek (methi), collard greens (Haak) apart from palak (spinach).
So, Saag Paneer can be made with any leafy greens or a combination of greens, but, Palak Paneer refers to a delectable creamy dish made with spinach leaves only.
WHAT KIND OF PALAK? TO BLANCH OR NOT
You need mature spinach for palak paneer and not the baby variety as health freaks of today promote. it should be fresh and not really frozen. This contributes to maximum flavour and health benefits.
It doesn’t have to be boiled, just blanched for a few minutes (5, if you must till it wilts) in a saucepan. You should immediately immerse it into cold water to stop the cooking process and losing the nice green colour. Blend it into a puree or pound to smoothness, it is to your call and convenience.
PANEER TO FRY, OR NOT
Both work really. But in my opinion, fresh unfried paneer chunks work the best for this recipe. Frying it introduces a few crisp edges in taste for the dish that is relished more when creamier.
Palak Paneer Or Indian Cottage Cheese with Spinach
- 250 Gram Cottage Cheese / Paneer Fresh
- 350 Gram Spinach / Palak
- 1 piece Tomatoes / Tamatar Medium Sized
- 1 piece Onion / Pyaaz Medium Sized
- 6 piece Garlic Pods / Lehsun
- 2 Inch Ginger / Adrak
- 2 piece Green Chillies / Hari Mirch
- 1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds/ Jeera
- 1 Teaspoon Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder / Lal Mirch
- 1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder / Haldi
- 1/2 Tablespoon Garam Masala
- 1 Teaspoon Dried fenugreek Leaves / Kasuri Methi Crushed (Optional)
- 2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
- 1 Tablespoon Clarified Butter / Ghee
- 0.5 Teaspoon Salt Adjust it to your taste
- Get your ingredients ready. Cut paneer into cubes of about an inch each.
- To a saucepan with boiling water, add a little salt and then spinach leaves to it.
- Blanch the spinach leaves for 5 minutes until wilted.
- Take them out and put them in ice-cold water to retain colour.
- Cook the onion for 2 to 3 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Add the tomato, garlic, ginger and green chillies and cook till rawness goes away.
- At this point, add turmeric and red chilli powders.
- Add this masala and spinach to a blender and make a paste.
- Add a little water (1/4th of a cup), if required.
- Remove to a pan and let it cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. Keep Stirring.
- Add garam masala powder and 1/2 of heavy cream.
- Stir in paneer cubes and coat evenly.
- Leave it on a medium flame for 3-4 minutes stirring gently.
- Add the remaining cream and Kasuri methi and mix well.
- Serve hot with roti or paranthas.
- Enjoy your meal!!
SOME HOW TOs & SHOULD DOs
- Clean the spinach under running water 4-5 times to ensure the soil & dust is removed.
- Do not over cook the palak. Immerse it into hot water immediately after blanching. This helps in retaining the bright green colour.
- If your paneer is hard, soak it in warm water for 15 minutes. It will become soft again. For best results use home made paneer.
- Add fresh cream at the end to make creamier and richer version.
- If you want to make a vegan version, you can replace paneer wth tofu. Youo can use any vegan cream in place of regular cream.
- To make aloo paneer, simply replaced paneer with boiled aloo.
TO SUM IT UP
Simple and easy to make, Palak Paneer is a really popular Indian dish where Indian cottage cheese is cooked with spinach puree. It is delicious and healthy! Goes very well with khasta roti or parantha. It is every vegetarian’s delight!
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