palak-paneer

Palak Paneer is a popular vegetarian dish that originates from the state of Punjab. Though the dish originates from Punjab, it is loved all over India. Palak paneer is all time favorite dish and restaurant style Palak Paneer is something we all would love to try.

Ingredients

1 cup = 250 ml

To make spinach Puree you need

  • 250grams of spinach(palak) or  8-9 oz palak
  • 3 cups blanching spinach or hot (boiling) water
  • 2 cups water (for ice bath)

To make pan frying paneer

  • 250grams of paneer or 8-9 oz paneer (cottage cheese)
  • 3 tablespoons of oil

For the sauce/gravy

  • ½ teaspoon jeera (cumin seeds)
  • 2 small Indian bay leaf (tejpatta) or 1 large/medium tejpatta
  • 1 medium sized onion or 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1-2 chopped green chilies
  • 1 pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry leaves of fenugreek (kasuri methi)
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 3 tablespoons of whipping cream or 1/4 cup of low fat cream
  • a pinch of sugar
  • salt as per taste

Directions

For blanching/preparing spinach puree

  1. Rinse the spinach leaves thoroughly with water and keep the spinach leaves in colander in order to drain off the excess water. Keep only tender leaves of spinach and discard the fibrous or hard ones.
  2. Take a pan and boil water in the pan. Add the spinach leaves in the boiling water.
  3. Keep stirring and blanching the spinach leaves for 3 minutes in the water.
  4. When the spinach leaves start blanching, take another bowl, add some water into the bowl and put 8-10 ice cubes in the bowl.
  5. After 3 minutes take the spinach leaves out and add them to the bowl of cold water.
  6. Stir gently to make sure all spinach leaves get immersed properly in the cold water. Take them out of the cold water after 1 minute.
  7. Put these leaves in a blender jar or a grinder.
  8. Blend or grind it to make a smooth puree. Do not add water while blending or grinding.

Pan frying – Paneer cubes

  1. This process is optional, but frying paneer cubes in a pan to light golden color can add to the taste of palak paneer.
  2. Heat oil in a nonstick frying pan and fry the ice cubes light brown.
  3. After the paneer cubes are fried evenly, you can drain the excess oil using paper towels.
  4. To soften the cubes, place them in water immediately for 3-4 minutes.

Preparing sauce/gravy

  1. You can use the same oil, in which you fried paneer and add tejpatta and cumin seeds. Sauté till the cumin seeds crackle.
  2. Then add onions (finely chopped) and stir well.
  3. Sauté onions till they become golden brown.
  4. Then add ginger-garlic paste, green chilies (finely chopped)
  5. Stir and sauté till you the aroma of ginger-garlic goes off.
  6. Now add the spice powders(given in the list of ingredients).
  7. Stir well and add the spinach puree.
  8. Season with required amount of salt.  Also add a pinch of sugar. Stir well. Simmer the spinach gravy for about 5-6 minutes till it becomes thick and spinach gets cooked properly.
  9. Add 3 tbsp of whipping cream or ¼ low fat cream along with ½ tsp of garam masala powder. Stir well.
  10. Let the cream mix with the gravy well and then turn the flame off.
  11. Add fried cubes of paneer. Mix well with the gravy and cover the pan.