This Easy cooking idea for Singles# 59-Palak Paneer or Spinach +Cottage Cheese Curry is very popular during winters. Soft Paneer or cottage cheese cubes are simmered in smooth, bright green, spinach gravy. This was one of my husband’s favourite dishes and now my son likes it as much. My green is fenugreek or methi. To change the taste I used to make variations like Aloo Palak (baby potato spinach) Corn spinach and Mushroom spinach.
I made this Palak-Paneer in my daughter’s home in Delhi. Spinach is her flat mate’s favourite curry. She walked into the kitchen sniffing the curry and was drooling over it.
My husband liked the Palak Paneer I made but always said that the colour was not like the restaurant one. I can make it green like at the restaurant but then I feel that the spinach is not fully cooked and has a raw smell. At the restaurant, the Spinach leaves are blanched and the plunged in cold water so that they retain their green colour. I boil the leaves in an open vessel and the colour is quite green.
This Punjabi Palak Paneer recipe is delicious, rich, smooth & creamy, mildly spicy and easy to make like most of my recipes. Spinach is a treasure house of vitamins and minerals and has been popularized by the Spinach-eating Popeye with beefed up muscles after eating spinach.
Recipe for Palak Paneer
Spinach 500 grams
Paneer (cottage cheese) 200 grams
Green chillies 2
1 tsp Ginger garlic chopped
1 onion chopped
2 tomatoes pureed
1 tablespoon ghee or oil
1 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Fresh cream
4 cups water
½ tsp turmeric powder
Remove the stems and wash spinach thoroughly in running water. If you want a vibrant color then blanch the spinach leaves in salted boiling water for two minutes. Dunk them in chilled water. Remove and grind to a fine paste along with green chillies.
But I boil the chopped spinach in one cup water along with green chillies, chopped ginger garlic and onion. Do not cover the spinach or else it will lose its colour and look a dull black instead of green. Once the water evaporates, let the spinach cool and grind to a paste in the mixer.
Cut the Paneer into one-inch cubes. Boil three cups of water and once water starts boiling add ½ tsp turmeric and switch off the gas. Put the Paneer cubes in this turmeric water and cover with a lid and keep aside. This would help in keeping the Paneer soft, spongy and it will not crumble. The turmeric gives the Paneer a very pleasing yellow colour which looks good with the green spinach.
Heat the ghee in a pan and add the red chilli powder when hot. Then add the pureed tomatoes and sauté till they are nicely done. Add salt and the pureed spinach and simmer for ten minutes. Your spinach is ready to serve. The tomatoes give a slightly tangy flavour to the bland spinach.
Add the Paneer cubes just before serving and mix well. Add a dash of cream to give it a rich flavour. I add cream only when I have guests.
Serve this Palak Paneer or Spinach +Cottage Cheese Curry with roti or Nan.