Palak paneer is one of the simplest yet surprisingly beautiful recipe. With lovely color combination and texture blend–this is just the perfect dish to impress your guest.
For Spinach puree
- 500 grams palak / spinach
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1 medium to large tej patta (Indian bay leaf)
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste + 1 teaspoon garlic paste OR (1/2 inch ginger + 6-7 small to medium garlic-crushed to a paste in mortar-pestle)
- 1or 2 green chilies chopped (Optional)
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala powder (optional)
- ¼ cup low fat cream or 3 tablespoon whipping cream to garnish (optional)
- Salt as required
- 1 cup of diced Paneer Cheese Cubes
Rinse the spinach leaves well in water
Blanch spinach and then keep them in a colander so that excess water drains off.
Pick out the spinach with your hands and squeeze all excess water.
Grind – blend to a smooth puree. No need to add any water while grinding or blending
Pan frying paneer cubes
This step is optional, but lightly golden pan fried paneer cubes taste good in palak paneer cheese.
- Heat oil in a non stick pan. Place the paneer cubes.
- Turn over when one side is light golden and fry the other side.
- Fry till the paneer cubes are light golden evenly. Do not fry too much as then the paneer cubes become dense.
- Remove and then drain them on kitchen paper towels.
- If you are deep frying the cubes then to soften the paneer more, immerse the fried pieces immediately in water for 3-4 minutes.
Preparing the gravy/sauce
- Now in the same oil in which we pan fried paneer, add cumin seeds and tej patta. Saute till the cumin seeds crackle.
- Then add finely chopped onions. Stir well.
- Sauté the onions till they turn light golden.
- Then add ginger paste & garlic paste
- Add Turmeric, Chilli powder, Coriander powder.
- Stir well. Wait till the masala start leaving oil on the sides.
Then add the spinach puree- add paneer cubes. Stir very slowly and leave for 5 minutes to simmer on a low heat.
Optionally, before serving you can mix in the cream for a more smoother texture. Enjoy with freshly made chapati
Alternate Sauce base for the same dish
Just make this Tomato based Masala Sauce and when it is ready add the pureed spinach. The alternate sauce is option for the ones who love tomatoes more.
Be Inventive, share with us if you have any other variation.