Thursday, July 3, 2008

Palak Paneer

Many of the best loved Indian dishes are the ones where paneer(Indian Cream Cheese) is combined with a vegetable. Paneer is widely used and very popular in India, especially in North due to abundance of milk and milk products in the area.
This combination of spinach with paneer is not only highly nutritious, but is a splendid blend of taste, texture and flavor. Even before you taste it, the look tempts you. The paneer in this recipe has been fried to add some extra flavor. You can however add the paneer pieces without frying if required. Cream is added to give the richness to the dish but its optional.

Here are the Ingredients..

Serves 2

Spinach(frozen or fresh) - 4000gms
Paneer(cottage cheese) - 150gms(cut into 1" cubes)
Onion(chopped) - 1
Tomato (chopped) - 1
Ginger,garlic paste - 1tbsp
Red chilli powder - 1tsp
Turmaric powder - 1/4tsp
Coriander powder - 1tsp
Jeera powder - 1tsp
Garam masala powder - 1tsp
Whipped cream - 1/4 cup(Optional)
Kasuri methi - 1tsp
Hing - a pinch
Jeera - 1tsp
Butter - 2tbsp
Sugar to taste
Salt to taste


Heat Butter in a pan. Add jeera and hing. When the jeera splutters,add onion and ginger-garlic paste with a pinch of salt. Salt helps cook the onions faster by releasing moisture from the onions. Fry till the onions are done and the raw smell of ginger and garlic disappears.

Now add turmeric and red chilli powder and tomatoes. Once the tomatoes are soft and done, add the remaining masala powders and spinach. Cook for about 5 -10 minutes. Take the pan off the flame, cool and grind.

Mean while take a pan with little butter and fry the paneer cubes. Fry them till they turn golden brown. Keep a vessel with some water and ice cubes in it ready. Once the paneer is done,take it out of the pan and immerse the pieces in the ice cold water. This lets the paneer stay soft.

Take the grinded mixture in the same pan. Squeeze out the water from the paneer cubes using both your hands and add it to the grinded spinach. Add salt and sugar to taste,kasuri methi and cream. Let it come to a boil.

Palak paneer is ready to eat. It can be taken with chapathi or Simple Jeera Rice.


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