Delicious Palak paneer recipe
How to make Palak paneer recipe ?
Measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml
For the palak puree:
- fresh spinach or palak : 200 to 250 grams, about 7 to 9 oz spinach
- green chilies : 1 or 2, chopped
- garlic : 1 or 2 small to medium, roughly chopped (optional)
- ginger : ½ inch , roughly chopped
- water : 3 cups for blanching spinach
- 3 cups water for ice bath
For the palak curry:
- onion : 1 small to medium sized, finely chopped, or about ⅓ cup finely chopped
- tomatoes: 1 small or medium sized chopped, about ⅓ cup finely chopped
- garlic or lahsun : 4 to 5 small to medium, finely chopped
- cumin seeds or jeera : ½ tsp
- turmeric powder or haldi : ¼ tsp
- red chili powder (optional) : ½ tsp
- asafoetida or hing : a pinch (optional)
- garam masala powder : ¼ or ½ tsp (add more if required)
- tej patta or indian bay leaf : 1 small to medium
- paneer or tofu : 200 to 250 gms, about 7 to 9 oz cottage cheese
- water : ⅓ to ½ cup or add as required
- cream : 1 or 2 tbsp, low fat 25% to 35% (i used amul cream)
- oil or ghee or unsalted butter : 2 tbsp
- kasuri methi leaves or dry fenugreek leaves : 1 tsp (optional. kasuri methi is crushed and added right towards the end. just before adding cream. )
- salt as per taste
- A few teaspoons of cream or butter for topping the palak paneer (optional)
- ginger : ½ inch, julienned
- lemon or lime wedges or slices
- Making the spinach puree:
- Wash the palak or spinach leaves thoroughly in running water. Tender stem are fine. If the stems are stringy, then get rid of the stems.
- Boil 3 cups water in a pan or microwave or electric heater. Add ¼ tsp salt to the hot water and stir. then add the palak leaves in the hot water. close with a lid and let the palak leaves sit in the water for 2-3 mins.
- Strain the palak leaves.
- Immediately add palak or spinach leaves in the pan or bowl containing ice cold water. This method helps in preserving green color of the spinach. Just add 8 to 10 ice cubes to 3 cups of water to get the cold water. Allow the spinach leaves to be in cold water for a minute or two.
- Then drain the ice cold water. Add the spinach in blender or grinder jar with the chopped ginger, garlic and green chilies.
- Make a smooth palak puree. no need to add water as making the puree. Keep the spinach puree aside.
- Making the palak curry:
- Heat oil or ghee or butter in the pan or kadai. If using butter, melt it a low flame making sure that the butter does not brown.
- Add the cumin and let them splutter.
- Then add the tej patta or bay leaf.
- Add the finely chopped onions. Saute till the onions become golden.
- Then add the finely chopped garlic. Saute till the raw aroma of garlic goes away. No need to brown the garlic.
- Add the chopped tomatoes. stir and saute the tomatoes till they soften.
- Once the tomatoes are softened and you see fat releasing from the sides of the mixture. then add the turmeric powder, red chili powder and asafoetida/hing.
- Stir very well.
- Then add the palak puree.
- Stir well.
- Add about ⅓ to ½ cup water or as required. stir again.
- Simmer for 6-7 minutes or more till the palak or spinach is cooked. season with salt. the gravy or sauce will also thicken by now.
- Stir and add garam masala powder.
- Stir again and then add the paneer/cottage cheese cubes.
- Stir gently and simmer on a low flame till the paneer cubes become soft and succulent. about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Lastly add cream. stir gently again so that the cream gets incorporated in the palak paneer gravy uniformly. switch off the flame.
- Stir and serve the palak paneer hot with some rotis, naan or jeera rice. you can top the palak paneer with some butter or cream also while serving. also drizzle a few drops of lime or lemon juice on top along with ginger julienne.
The paneer of tofu cubes can be also be lightly fried and then added to the curry. I this case, you don’t need to cook the paneer or tofu in the gravy as when frying they are already cooked.