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Palak paneer
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Palak paneer recipe

Palak paneer is a popular Indian side dish for flat breads. Instead of blanching, I like to sautee the palak for bright green colour. Step by step pictures post.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • Palak - 2 cups Tighyly packed, Indian spinach
  • Onion - 1 big
  • Paneer cubes - 1 & 1/2 cups Measured after thawing
  • Tomato - 2
  • Green chillies - 5
  • Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander seeds powder - 1 tsp
  • Kasoori methi - 1 tsp
  • Sugar 1/2 tsp
  • Milk/ cream - 1/4 cup
  • Oil / butter - 3 tbsp
  • Salt - as needed

To roast and powder

  • Cinnamon - 1/2 inch piece
  • Cardamom - 1
  • Cloves 1
  • Pepper - 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds/ Jeera - 1 tsp

Instructions

  • Wash spinach, drain excess water. Remove the stem part from the leaf. Tear off any thick stem part in the middle of the leaves too..)
  • Chop the onion and tomatoes finely. Gather other ingredients needed.
  • In a pan, heat 1/2 tsp of ghee and fry the items in the 'To roast and powder'. Add every thing together except cumin seeds and roast.
  • Add cumin seeds lastly as it gets fried in no time. Do not burn anything which will turn the gravy bitter. Keep a side. I powdered this using a hand mortar and pestle in to a fine powder.
  • In the same pan, add the washed palak leaves and fry till it reduces in volume. The water in the leaves is enough to make it shrink. If you need all few drops of oil while frying. Transfer to a plate and cool down.
  • Grind it with the green chillies, water if needed.
  • Heat pan and add the oil and fry onions thoroughly till it turns golden brown. Add turmeric and coriander powder and give it a quick stir in low flame.
  • Add the tomatoes and little salt to make the tomatoes cook fast. Add the kasoori methi now, crush them in between your palms.
  • When the tomatoes turn mushy, add the ground palak paste, sugar. Fry in low flame for 4-5 minutes till oil separates or till the raw smell disappears and the palak gets cooked well.
  • Mean while boil water in another vessel and add the paneer and switch off the stove and keep covered till use. Drain the paneer and add it to the palak gravy.
  • Add milk and mix or cream slowly as you keep mixing in low flame and just bring to boil.
  • Add the powdered garam masala.Mix well.Transfer to the serving bowl and serve with hot roti or naan.

Notes

  • I preferred sautéing the leaves than boil, you can try blanching too. Make sure not over cook the palak,or you wont get green gravy.
  • You can add a pinch of cooking soda for the palak to retain its green while boiling.
  • Adding sugar helps retain green of the palak.
  • If your palak and green chillies are not cooked properly, it will turn the gravy bitter.
  • I have avoided using red chilli powder and used green chilli and pepper for spiciness. This ensures giving a good green colour to the gravy.
  • Use cream in place of milk for extra richness. Also curd or sour cream works fine.
  • For lazy version, you can avoid the spice/ masala grinding  part and add garam masala instead.
  • After adding paneer cubes, do not cook long time as it will make paneer turn hard. Use fresh paneer for best results. 
  • Soaking in hot water helps softening the paneer.