I promised you guys to share my paneer recipe in cream gravy (malai paneer) previously, but I had some half wilted spinach lying in my fridge, so I prepared palak paneer instead. It’s indian cottage cheese in spinach curry. You can use homemade paneer (recipe here) or just buy it in a store, but it’s crap here so I made it from milk myself 🙂
My husband loves this authentic Punjabi recipe so much. There are a few steps and this can be time consuming, but any healthy and nourishing recipe is. I normally make my masala (cooked tomato and onion mixture) in a bigger patch and keep it ready in my fridge, because it’s the base of almost all curries. Doing this saves time when you have to whip up something fast. No chopping and no waiting for onion-tomato to cook ;).
PALAK PANEER – COTTAGE CHEESE IN SPINACH CURRY
200g spinach (I use baby spinach)
FOR SPINACH PUREE:
1 garlic clove
1/2 inch ginger
1 green chili
FOR SPINACH CURRY:
6 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
250-300g paneer cheese
1 tbsp dried kasturi methi leaves
- Boil or blanch the spinach leaves in water. Baby spinach needs only a quick blanch, but strong spinach needs boiling of 5 minutes (because of the strong smell).
- Drain the spinach leaves and let cool.
- Put the leaves, garlic clove, ginger and green chili in a blender and make a smooth paste (add water if needed).
- Now make the curry. Heat oil in a pan on medium high heat, add cumin seeds and make them brown. Add bay leaves, and then add garlic. Sauté for a couple of minutes.
- Now add onion and cook them soft, then follow with tomato. (I used already cooked onion-tomato mixture, so I just added that and saved time). Tomato has to be cooked until you have a dry paste consistency on your pan.
- Now add salt, turmeric, red chili and garam masala powders. Fry for a minute.
- Add the spinach paste and let cook for about 10 minutes. It should not have any water in so simmer as long as water has evaporated. The colour will also turn darker green. Add kasturi methi leaves.
- Add paneer cubes and let simmer under lid for 5 minutes and at the end you can add some cream or coconut milk or plain yoghurt to make the curry thicker. I added about 2 tablespoons of cream.