Sunday, 1 March 2009

Palak Paneer is a good thing......

I had one of my cravings for Paneer sometime ago and I thought about making some of this - Palak Paneer.
I think this is almost everyone's favorite. I love this with chapatis, puris, parathas, bhaturas...you name it....there's something about the creamed spinach and the soft paneer that is just amazing!
I like to make this at home, because I find the restaurant versions to be too bland for my taste...so here goes, this is my way of making a favorite. All the pros know how to make it, but this is especially for the newbies...!

These measurements are just a guideline, use your own judgement!

You will need:
Fresh Baby Spinach - I used 2 big packets.
1 large red onion - chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic - peeled
1 large knob of ginger - peeled
2-3 hot chilies or fresh jalapenos
3 large juicy fresh tomatoes- chopped
1 tbsp - Oil to saute spinach
1 tbsp Oil - to saute the gravy
1 tsp- Cumin seeds
2-3 dried red chilies
1.5 tbsp - Corn flour dissolved in a little water- enough to make a paste

1tbsp- your favorite garam masala
Salt, Turmeric - to taste
a pinch of sugar - to balance out everything!

Sauteed Paneer Pieces - I saute them in a bit of Oil till they get nicely browned instead of deep frying them. I used a ready made paneer block this time around. Cut them in chunks after immersing them in some water after sauteeing them.

First things first. Wash and drain the spinach. I use baby spinach because I like it much better than the leafy one or the frozen one. Frozen spinach is NOT a good thing in this recipe.

Take a deep pan, heat the one tbsp of oil and add the garlic pieces and dried red chilies. Add the spinach as is. Stir around for a bit and let it wilt. Add a pinch of salt to let it release the natural juices.

While this is wilting, make a paste of the tomatoes, onions, ginger and the green chilies. I just used the blender, its much easier. After you make the paste, heat another deep pan, add the other tbsp of oil. Add the cumin seeds and the paste you just made. Stir really well till it becomes thick.

Now, for the spinach. Add the spinach to the blender and make a coarse paste. It will be cooked already so its easier to do so. Set this aside while the tomato paste cooks.

When the paste looks ready, add the Spinach puree and the corn flour paste, this will help thicken the gravy and keep it together. Add the rest of the seasonings along with the Paneer pieces and let it cook for 5-7 minutes more. Serve hot.

Serving Suggestions: Palak Paneer, Parathas or Pooris, Pulao and Raita.
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