Palak paneer is a standard vegetarian dish – I am sure every household is aware of. I was first introduced to this dish in a wedding reception while I was still a kid. Out of love for paneer I tolerated the green masala, which I honestly did not like. I don’t really know when I started a liking for this humble gravy.
It must be those times when I was crazy about cookery shows that I came across Palak-paneer recipe. I must have been in high school when I made this dish. Off course with lot of help from my mother. It was very simple to make and had a earthy aroma. We served it with chapathis, which is not a staple food of coastal homes. We are basically rice eaters, and can eat rice even for 3 meals-a-day 🙂
So this recipe dates back at least 16 years from present. I am sure it would not be any different from other palak-paneer recipe. I liked this recipe for its simplicity. The recipe is home style and only addition I made was to add cashew paste and cream. It just made the gravy rich and thick, so thick that the paneer cubes have disappeared 😛
Do not think twice, just follow the recipe below for a delicious treat.
- Paneer/ cottage cheese – 1 cup (100 gms)
- Palak/ spinach – 1 bunch
- Ginger – half an inch
- Garlic – 2-3 pods
- Onion – 2 medium finely chopped
- Tomato – 2 small chopped
- Green chillies – 2-3
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
- Red chilli powder – 1-2 tsp
- Coriander powder – 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Oil/ghee – 2-4 tsp
- Fresh cream – 2 tbsp
- Cashew nuts – 5-6
- Garam Masala 1 tsp
- Cut the stems of Palak/ spinach and wash thoroughly under running water.
- Chop roughly and keep aside.
- In a pan, heat 2 tsp of oil on medium flame.
- Add crushed ginger, garlic and green chillies and fry for 2 minutes.
- Add half portion of chopped onions and sauté it till it become golden brown.
- Add chopped palak ,tomatoes , little salt and sauté well till the palak shrinks in size. Do not add water.
- Close the lid and cook palak completely on low flame- about 7-10 minutes.
- Once cooked cool the mixture completely.
- Add the mixture to a blending jar, add cashew nuts and blend to a smooth paste.
- Heat remaining oil/ghee in the pan.
- Add cumin seeds and sauté.
- Add onions and fry till transparent.
- Check the spice level of palak paste and if needed add slit green chillies at this stage.
- Add chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder,garam masala salt and mix well.
- Add 1-2 tbsp water if the masala is too dry.
- When oil starts leaving the masala, add palak paste, 1/2 cup of water and mix Well. Adjust salt. Bring to a boil.
- Add paneer cubes and simmer for 2-3 minutes
- Add fresh cream before serving or after the gravy has warmed down.
- Palak/spinach can also be blanched.
- Paneer cubes can be lightly pan fried in little oil.
- Cashew nuts and cream is optional and can be skipped.
- There alternative to paneer is potato, chickpea, cauliflower (gobi), mixed vegetables, turnips, corn kernels (pre cook it before using in gravy).
- Do not add fresh cream to hot gravy.