Authentic Palak Paneer

Serves : 4, Ingredients :

  • Spinach blanched – 2 cups
  • Paneer cubes – 200 gm
  • Onions finely chopped – 1/2 cup
  • Green Chilies – 1
  • Garlic finely chopped – 3/4 tbsp
  • Ginger finely chopped – 1/2 tbsp
  • Fresh Coriander finely chopped – 1 tbsp
  • Cashew or Almonds (remove skin) – 6
  • Cumin – 1 tsp
  • Bay Leaf – 1
  • Cinnamon stick – 2 small sticks
  • Black Peppercorn – 4 to 6
  • Green Cardamom – 3 to 4
  • Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp (adjust according to taste)
  • Coriander powder – 2 tsp
  • Cumin powder – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – /2 tsp
  • Oil – 1/2 tbsp
  • Ghee or Butter – 1 tbsp
  • Cream – 2 tbsp
  • Kasuri Methi crushed – 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Salt – 2 tsp (Adjust according to taste)

My take on the dish:

* I have seen this recipe on TV and checked on the internet as well, “Tomatoes” is also an ingredient in this recipe. However, my grand mother never allowed palak and tomato being cooked together, she said it affects digestive system, I am not sure about it though. Going by her view, I never liked the idea of adding tomatoes in any of the dish that includes palak. I tried adding tomatoes to the dish once, for some reason I did not feel like eating. Must be my grand moms view influenced my mind and taste buds lol!!

* Few people prefer frying paneer cubes and add it, however I avoid frying. It’s great the way it is :).

* Trust me even without tomatoes, this recipe is amazing where you can actually feel the flavor of palak and panner. I also tried recipe from “Food Lab” where the chef adds wheat flour and lemon juice, adding flour gives a thick texture and lemon juice gives that sourness of tomatoes. I will include it in my blog, however this authentic recipe is the best.

Things to prepare or set up before we start cooking :

  1. Make a puree of the blanched spinach, green chilli, cashew or almonds, salt and turmeric powder. If using almonds, soak them in water for an hour and remove the skin.
  2. Dip the paneer cubes in hot water and remove, this will soften the paneer

Let’s Get Started :

  • Heat the pan, add oil and ghee / butter to it .Add whole spices (Bay Leaf, Green Cardamom, Cinnamon sticks, Peppercorns) once you feel the aroma of the spices, add cumin.
  • Let the cumin splutter, add garlic and saute till garlic turns light brown.
  • Add onions, saute till they are translucent (pinkish), add ginger, saute and now add dry spices (Cumin powder, Coriander powder, Red Chilli powder).
  • Mix well and now is the time to add Spinach puree, keep stirring on a medium flame for about five minutes (As spinach has been blanched, overcooking at this point does not give the right flavor is what I realized from my experience..).
  • Add paneer cubes, coat the paneer with spinach puree, make sure not to break the paneer.
  • Let’s add cream now, mix well and add Kasuri Methi.
  • Give it a mix for half a minute, be careful with the paneer and turn off the flame. Garnish with coriander and we are all set.

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