When Spinach Met Paneer…

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In India, especially North India, Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) is a big favourite. Today’s post looks at a traditional Spinach-Paneer recipe that has been around for hundreds of years. It’s known as Palak Paneer. The interesting thing about this recipe is the fact that both spinach and Paneer have rather muted flavours. However, it is the combination of Mustard Oil and a variety of spices that makes this dish come alive.

Here are the ingredients that you will need:

  • Spinach: 1 kilogram
  • Paneer: 250 gram
  • Tomato: 1, large
  • Onion, finely chopped: 200 gram
  • Mustard Oil : 5 tablespoon
  • Garlic, chopped: 2 cloves
  • Ginger, grated: 1 tablespoon
  • Red Chillies, dried: 2
  • Cumin (Jeera) Seeds, ground: 2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric (Haldi) Powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander (Dhania) Seeds, ground: 1 teaspoon
  • Yogurt (Dahi): 300 gram
  • Coriander (Dhania) Leaves: For garnishing
  • Salt: to taste

Preparation:

Wash the spinach in warm water and tear it into smaller pieces. Keep aside.

Cut the Paneer into small cubes.

Cut the tomato into four pieces.

Method:

Heat three tablespoons of Mustard Oil in a large frying pan. Sauté the garlic and red chillies along with half a tablespoon of ginger. Add the onions and continue frying till the onion pieces turn brown.

Add the cumin, coriander and turmeric. Pour the Dahi into the frying pan and add the spinach pieces – one handful at a time. Cook for around 15 minutes – then remove the frying pan from the flame and keep aside.

Once your Spinach-Dahi-Spices mixture has cooled down, pour it into a blender; add the tomato pieces along with the remaining ginger. Blend till the contents turn into a thick paste.

Heat the remaining Mustard Oil in a pan and fry the Paneer cubes till the cubes turn brown.

Now add the fried Paneer cubes to the spinach mixture and cook for another 10 minutes or so on low heat. Add salt to taste – and transfer the contents to a serving dish. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Your traditional Palak Paneer is now ready to be served. It can be eaten with Roti or steaming hot rice.

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