“Palak Paneer” – Indian Cottage Cheese in Spinach

“Palak Paneer ” is a popular North Indian dish. Cubes of cottage cheese or “paneer” are simmered in creamy blend of spinach, tomatoes, onions, ginger, garlic, and spices to make this flavorful dish.

I learned this recipe many years ago from my family chef in India. Brother or “bhaiya” as he is affectionately known, is an exceptional and mostly self-taught cook. I have tried many different recipes of palak panner from cook books and all my friends and family but prefer this one. It is a simple, healthy dish that is perfect for any family!

Ingredients:

  • 454 grams of spinach- cleaned and washed
  • 4 big cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch piece of ginger- chopped roughly
  • 1 small onion- chopped finely
  • 2 green chillies- roughly chopped
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes- pureed or grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon tomato paste- optional (for color)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chilly powder ( this is only for color)
  • salt to taste
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 300 grams paneer- store bought or home made
Method:
  1. Steam the spinach in a vessel and keep aside. I do not add water, just put spinach in a vessel and keep on low heat and cover. After 7 to 10 minutes it will wilt.
  2. Squash the garlic in a mortar -pestle, roughly. Don’t be tempted to chop the pieces.
  3. Heat oil in vessel. Add the garlic and turn the heat to low. Keep frying. It should be a light brown color. Be careful, not to burn this.
  4. Turn the heat to medium high, add onions and fry to a golden brown color. While browning, I add a dash of salt as this helps the onions to release some it’s water and speeds up the browning.
  5. While the onions are browning, grind the steamed spinach, ginger and chillies in a blender and keep aside.
  6. After the onions are lightly browned, add the pureed spinach, ginger and chilly mixture to it. Mix well.
  7. Add garam masala, turmeric, coriander powder, red chilly powder. Saute this for 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Add tomatoes and tomato paste and fry for 5 minutes. Cover and let it cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  9. Fry well, and then add the paneer which is cut in small pieces. Cover for 5 minutes.
  10. Serve hot with “Chappati or Naan”.

 

 

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