Friday, 1 January 2016

Palak Paneer


Palak Paneer, is a famous side dish from North Indian cuisine. Paneer cubes are dipped in Spinach gravy with added spices, which tastes delicious with Chapathi, Roti and Poori. 
Palak plants are easy to grow even in your balcony. One of my friends have gone for vacation last month and she had left her plants at my place. She gave me her spinach plants and shared a nice tip. Don't take out the whole plant when it is ready for plucking. Take out only the grown up leaves and leave the plant to grow again. This works nicely and the leaves are again ready for plucking within 3 weeks! I had planted some spinach plants in our backyard when we were in Adelaide, but I didn't knew about this. Hope this tip will be useful for you as well!
And, wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year! 
Below is the recipe of Palak Paneer:


Time required: 30 minutes
Servings: 3
Difficulty level: Medium

Ingredients:
  • Spinach leaves - 1 big bunch
  • Tomato - 1
  • Onion - 1, medium sized
  • Grated ginger - 1 tsp
  • Grated garlic - 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder - 1 1/4 tsp or according to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Lime squeeze - 1 tsp or to taste
  • Paneer / Cottage cheese - 300 gm or as required
  • Cooking oil - 7 tbsp
  • Water - 3 cups approx


Method:
  • Chop the tomato finely. Grate the onion using a vegetable grater and keep ready.
  • Wash the spinach leaves thoroughly and cook them in 1 1/2 cups of water. Add more water if required. 
  • Once the spinach is cooked, turn off the flame and allow to cool. Drain the remaining water and keep aside. Grind the spinach leaves into smooth paste.
  • Cut the paneer / cottage cheese into medium size cubes. Shallow fry them with little oil on hot tava till golden brown and keep aside.
  • Heat 5 - 6 tbsp of oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add cumin seeds and saute for a while. Then, add grated ginger and garlic. Saute them till the raw smell is gone.
  • To this, add grated onion and cook it till turns into light brown color.
  • Add finely chopped tomato and 1/4 tsp salt and mix well. Cook it covered. 
  • Keep mixing it regularly and once tomato is cooked and the mixture starts leaving oil from the sides, add the spinach paste. Add water as required to make it gravy and salt to taste. You can use the drained water left after cooking the spinach. 
  • Now add the coriander powder, garam masala powder and red chilli powder. Mix it nicely and allow the mixture to boil for 3 - 4 minutes.
  • After you turn off the flame, add lime juice for taste and mix it well. 
  • Finally add the Paneer cubes and mix everything slowly.
  • Serve it hot with Chapathi, Roti or Poori.


Tips:
  • If you have the paneer at home, you can use the left over paneer water for this recipe instead of plain water.
  • Green chillies can be used instead of red chilli powder. If using green chillies, you can combine ginger, garlic and green chillies and make a fine paste for using here.

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