While Palak Paneer is part of regular Punjabi cuisine, we find this Spinach curry to be part of the menu in most restaurants in other parts of India and in Indian restaurants abroad. And Palak Paneer is perhaps one of the most popular North Indian dishes served in these restaurants.
I tried little extra hard this time to capture in my photograph some of the grandeur that this Palak dish enjoys among the multitude of choices available to a guest visiting an Indian restaurant. At the end, I guess I did ok with this photo of our favorite Palak recipe. Palak Paneer prepared by me tasted great too and this is my modest presentation of this Palak/Spinach curry to help you recreate some of that magic at home for your loved ones and for yourself.
If you do not prefer Paneer, I have noted below how you can replace Paneer with some of the vegetables and still have a great tasting Palak curry prepared.
- Paneer or Cottage Cheese – 300 gms
- Palak or Spinach – 3/4 kg or 6 big bunches
- Chopped Green Chillies – 3
- Ginger – 1/2 inch
- Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Medium Sized Onion – 2
- Tomato Puree – 1 cup
- Jeera/Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
- Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp
- Dhaniya Powder or Coriander Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Oil – 2 Tbsp
- Fresh Cream – 1/4 cup
- Oil for frying Paneer
Time To Make: 40 min
How To Prepare:
- Clean the Palak or Spinach properly. Cook the Palak/Spinach leaves with chopped Green Chillies, Ginger in a pressure cooker with 1/4 cup of water until you hear a single whistle. Else, cook all these ingredients in Microwave on high setting for 3 minutes. Retain the water used for cooking. Later one can use this water when cooking the Palak Paneer as described in Step 6 below.
- Once the Palak/Spinach leaves turn cool, transfer all the cooked ingredients to a mixer jar and grind it in a mixer grinder to obtain smooth Palak paste. Keep aside.
- Finely chop one of the Onions. Cut the other Onion and prepare a smooth Onion paste by grinding the cut Onion in a mixer grinder. Keep aside.
- Heat Oil in a fairly large pan. Add Jeera/Cumin seeds. Once the Jeera seeds splutter, add finely chopped Onions (from Step 3) and fry until the Onions look transparent. Then add smooth Onion Paste and fry till the raw smell of Onion disappears. It takes almost 2 minutes for the Onions to be cooked.
- Now add Tomato Puree, Turmeric, Red Chilli Powder, Dhaniya/Coriander Powder and allow the ingredients in the frying pan to cook for 5 minutes.
- Then add Palak paste from step 2 to the above mixture with 1/4 cup of water (for better results, you may use the water used for cooking Palak, retained in Step 1) and Salt. Cook for 10 more minutes.
- Now cut the Paneer into cube sized pieces and deep fry in Oil until the Paneer pieces turn golden brown. Remove from the Oil and immediately add the fried Paneer to the Palak/Spinach curry preparation from above steps.
- Next add Garam Masala Powder to the Palak Paneer mixture and cook the entire gravy for 3-4 minutes. Finally add Fresh Cream to the mixture.
Garnish Palak Paneer with a little Fresh Cream.
Now Palak Paneer/Spinach Curry is ready to serve with Roti, Chapati, Naan or Kulcha.
- You can try out variations of Palak Paneer recipe by replacing the Paneer with Tofu or Boiled Potato pieces, Green Peas or with Okra/Bhindi. Palak/Spinach curry tastes great with any of these vegetables. One can have Palak Paneer with Plain Rice or with Roties. I prepared Palak Panner to go with Pulka/Chapati.
- Spinach/Palak is considered rich source of Iron and Calcium and Paneer is rich in Protein.