Palak Paneer (Spinach-Indian cheese) is hands down the easiest way to ensure you eat your weekly dose of spinach!
Lately, it has been a struggle to eat healthy food.
Last weekend my husband and I must have eaten every sugary dessert possible and I am not proud of it! Seeing a cupcake, pancake anything that ends or begins with a cake makes me go weak in knees.
Ideas and suggestions on how to resist cup”cakes” are heavily appreciated!!
After a weekend of sugar rush it is time to show some love to greens.
“Palak Paneer” is a popular North Indian vegetarian dish and has many variations to it. You can make this dish creamy by adding fresh cream or heavy cream but I have decided to give it a pass this time. Vegans can add Tofu instead of Paneer (Indian cheese) and skip using fresh/heavy cream or yogurt. I have made dish with Tofu a few times and it tastes great.
Let’s talk about the spinach gravy. Blending together half cooked onions, tomatoes, garlic and ginger helps spread the flavor throughout the dish rather than have it appear in clumps. It also helps in making the texture more appealing.
Side Note. The trick to achieve a fresh green spinach color is boiling the cleaned and washed spinach for just 1-2 minutes and immediately placing them in a ice water, so that it stops cooking.
I have directly added spinach leaves to my half cooked onion-tomato mixture and let it sit covered for about a minute. This way you have less utensils to clean later! You can also skip using tomatoes if you hate seeing red spots in green gravy.
Another thing I love about this dish are those lightly golden brown paneer cubes tossed in simmering spinach onion gravy. You don’t need to brown paneer cubes but I like that extra layer of flavor it gives. You can also marinate your paneer or tofu cubes with salt, pepper and lemon juice for 30 minutes if you want more flavor.
It would be a good idea to reserve a piece of paneer for garnishing on top. This is optional but I like to see beautiful paneer flakes sitting on the gravy. Adding fresh cream would have been icing on top but honestly after tasting it I did not miss it. The spices are beautifully blended together with the spinach mixture and bring great flavor to the dish.
This dish goes well with chapati, naan, plain rice or even jeera rice.
There are so many variations in cooking this dish, so if you make one which is different than mine please let me know. I am always keen on knowing and learning different ways of making a dish. Please post your food pictures and tag SaltPaprika on Facebook or Instagram. 🙂
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 people
Ingredients: 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil 400 gms or 1 bunch Spinach 200 gm Paneer cut into cubes Pinch of asafoetida (hing) 1 medium Onion 1 medium tomato 6-7 garlic cloves (1-inch thumb)1 Tbsp chopped ginger 2 green chillies ½ tsp each Spices --> Turmeric, red chili, coriander powder, Garam masala Salt as per taste 1 tsp Fresh Cream (Optional)
- Heat a tsp of oil in a pan and to that add in cumin seeds, asafoetida. Once cumin seeds start to sizzle add in chopped onions. Cook till onions are translucent. To this add chopped green chilies, ginger and garlic.
- After a minute, add in chopped tomatoes and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
- To that add in your washed and cleaned spinach leaves. Leave it in the pan with a lid on for not more than a minute.
- Let this mixture cool for about 5 minutes and then blend everything in a blender.
- While your onions are cooking quickly pan fry the paneer cubes to a light golden brown color for about 2-3 minutes each side. This step is optional. To soften the paneer keep them immersed in water for about 3-4 minutes.
- Heat the same pan with a tsp of oil and to that add the ingredients listed under spices section except garam masala. Add the blended spinach mixture to this along with salt and garam masala and let it cook covered for 4-5 minutes.
- Then add Paneer cubes to this and let it cook for another 5 minutes on a low to medium flame, covered.
- Garnish with grated paneer and serve hot.