Palak paneer is a mild, delicious green curry with Indian cottage cheese cubes and pureed curried spinach. An authentic Indian protein packed dish to have with rice or flat bread.
What a delight to have on cold wintery days!
Palak Paneer, a Punjabi dish by origin, is a staple in Punjabi dhabas and very popular in Indian restaurants worldwide. But what excites me most is when my daughter asks me to make it. When most kids run away from spinach weirdly enough mine asks for the green curry. The only condition she has is do not make it too pasty like chutney. She likes the stems and dangling wilted leaves seen in the palak paneer instead.
WHY SHOULD YOU BLANCH THE GREENS FOR SPINACH TOFU CURRY?
Blanching retains the beautiful green color of the curry. The cooking process of introducing high heat and cooling it immediately which stops the cooking and shocks the vegetable thus retaining the color.
To a certain extent blanching removes the bitterness from the greens.
SHOULD I GRIND THE SPINACH ?
You don’t have to grind the spinach simply saute a little and leave it as and this can alternatively be turned into a delicious stir fry.
Traditionally Palak Paneer / Cottage Cheese in Spinach gravy is served warm with flat breads like chappathi, phulkas, naan or plain white basmathi rice and a dollop of ghee or butter on the side.
Goes well with any flat bread or any rice varieties and some plain sallow fried spiced potatoes.
INGREDIENTS SUBSTITUTES :
- Paneer / Indian cottage cheese – Tofu or any vegan meat is good alternative for paneer. Left over cooked or fried chicken cubes also tastes good in this recipe.
- Spinach– replaced by any other greens like kale, collard or mustard greens works well. Basically any type of green that can be cooked tastes good can be used here in this recipe.
- Note : A few sprigs of cilantro added along with the greens to this curry will enhance the taste.
- Spices – lesser the better. I do not add any garam masalas to this Spinach andpaneer curry as it is a mild flavorful curry where the flavors of green should stand out.
- Chili powder – You can completely avoid chili powder instead use chili flakes for making the curry.
- Flavoring – Tomato will definitely make the curry look brownish and steal the green color. Instead for tartness add lime juice while serving.
- Seasoning – Any dry herbs added in the place of dried fenugreek leaves(Kasuri methi)blends with the curry like mint, thyme rosemary etc, but it will definitely alter the original taste.
- Apart from this if want a much creamier flavorful version adding a tsp or two of coconut milk in the end helps. For the non vegans adding a tbsp of heavy cream, a dollop of ghee, butter, heavy cream will definitely enhance the flavors of the curry .
Palak paneer / Indian cottage cheese and spinach curry
- 1 bag 8 oz Palak / Spinach
- 12 oz pack Paneer -cut into cubes 4-5 cubes per head
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 8-10 flakes Garlic - cut into pieces ( not crushed)
- 1 sliced Red onion Medium size
- 1 Green chili (Use as per tolerance ) cut into big pieces
Spice powders (see notes )
- 1/2 tsp Chili powder / paprika powder
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Coriander powder
Optional flavoring but highly recommended
- 1 small pinch Dried fenugreek leaves
- 1/2 juice of 1/2 a lime for slight tartness
- Wash the spinach and keep aside to drain
- Meanwhile heat a pot with some water as it boils put the washed spinach leaves into it and remove as soon asÂ it wilts n the green color intensifies. (In short blanch)
- Spread on a plate allow it to cool down. Once the spinach is cool blitz it in the blender adding very little water to a coarse paste. Keep aside.
- Heat a pan with 2-3 tsp of cooking oil in it. Add cumin when its color changes add the garlic saute for few minutes then the green chili and onion allow the onion to become soft.
- Add salt, red chili powder,turmeric powder and Coriander powder .Saute this until a nice aroma comes now add the palak/ spinach paste and a little bit of water and when when it begins to boil add the fdried enugreek leaves powder
- I add the paneer cubes. Let it boil for less than one more minute then switch off heat and keep aside immediately. Do not stir too much as the paneer will break. While serving put a dash of fresh cream on top. I have skipped it. (this to enhance the creaminess )
Other spinach recipes to try :
Hope you like it.
Looks simply wonderful !
Looks very delicious and healthy . Love it
Mine like spinach too and not puree, always chopped and make this, Looks very tempting
one of my favorites but kids don't nod a big yes to the greeny color though and I have to cook up stories to make them eat...looks yummm 🙂
Btw,loved the new header too dear !!
Remya Elizabeth Anish
Healthy and delicious one........ I love to prepare this often.......
Its not only delight but extremely heavenly. My all time fav but over here we use more of tofu instead of paneer. That too will be good in such a dish.
aah.. lovely green color that gravy has got .. tempting it looks
wow my favorite one.yummy
yummy and my fav one
Palak paneer looks delicious my favorite.
Lovely palak paneer 🙂 Superb color !
One of my fav dish ..nice color n clicks.
Looks great! How many does this recipe feed?
Thank you Joanna. This is good enough for 3 people.