Shwetha Bhat is passionate about food and cooking. She loves to experiment in the kitchen and share her recipes.
About Palak paneer
Palak paneer is a most loved North Indian dishes in which soft paneer (cottage cheese) cubes cooked in a smooth spinach curry. Cream give the gravy a rich creamy texture. This recipe is favorite across the length and breadth of India. This is one of the most popular paneer recipe, very easy to prepare and can be made in many different ways giving you the green healthy feels. There are no complicated steps, no long list of masalas, no major grinding or preparation work. Can be made for dinner parties as well.
Spinach is very nutritious and together with paneer takes care of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A and protein levels of the body.
Palak paneer goes very well with Indian breads like tandoori roti, chapatis, phulkas, parathas or naan. Being a versatile dish, it also accompanies rice dishes from the Indian cuisins like jeera rice, veg pulao, ghee rice and even a simple steamed rice very well.
This is no onion, no garlic version of palak paneer gravy.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
Serves 2 people 1 cup of spinach
- 200-250 grams Fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- 1-2 Green chilies
- 4-5 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 cups water, for blanching spinach
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 200-250 grams paneer or cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup water, to cook gravy
- 1-2 tablespoon cream
- 2 tablespoons oil or ghee or butter
- salt as required
Making palak paneer
- Rinse the spinach or palak leaves very well in running water. Keep the tender stems. If the stems are stringy, then discard the stems.
- Roughly chop the palak leaves and stems.
- Cube paneer and finely chop garlic, set aside.
- Boil 3 cups of water in a pan or electric heater, add 1/2 tsp of salt to the hot water and stir.
- Add palak leaves and tender stems in the hot water. Let the leaves and stem sit in the water for 2-3 minutes.
- After 2-3 minutes, take out the leaves.
- Add the spinach in a blender or grinder jar with green chilies (can also add ginger and garlic here which is optional).
- Make a smooth palak puree. No need to add water while making the puree. Keep it aside.
- Heat oil or ghee or butter in a pan. If using a butter, melt it in a low flame (make sure butter does not turns to brown color).
- Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
- Add finely chopped garlic, saute till the raw aroma of garlic goes away. No need to brown the garlic.
- Add palak puree and mix well.
- Add about 1/2 cup of water or as required. Stir.
- Simmer for about 5-6 minutes or more till the spinach is cooked.
- Season with salt, the gravy will also thicken by now.
- Add paneer (cottage cheese) cubes.
- Stir gently and simmer on a low flame till the paneer cubes become soft and succulent. Cook for about 1 minute.
- Add cream (If you don't have cream or allergic to diary products soak cashew in warm water for 15 minutes, blend to a smooth puree and use instead of cream).
- Stir gently again so that the cream gets incorporated in the palak paneer gravy uniformly. Switch off the flame.
- Pour the palak paneer in serving bowl.
- You can garnish it with some butter or cream.
- Serve hot with rotis, chapatis, phulkas, parathas or naan.
- If you are allergic to diary products, then add tofu instead of paneer and skip cream entirely or use coconut cream.
- Always blanch spinach leaves making any dish where the spinach leaves are used in large quantities and where a puree is made from the leaves.
- A few teaspoons of cream or butter for topping, 1/2 inch ginger and lemon slices can be used to garnish palak paneer gravy.
- You can transfer the spinach leaves from hot water to a bowl containing ice cold water. This method helps in preserving the green color of the spinach. This method is optional.
- The paneer or tofu cubes can also be lightly fried and then added to the curry. In this case, you don't need to cook the paneer or tofu in the gravy as when frying they are already cooked.
- Prevent overcooking which darkens the dish.
- For best taste always use young and tender spinach.
- Do not add too much water as it will make your gravy thin. A thicker gravy tastes better.
- Do not overcook spinach leaves as it takes only 2-3 minutes to cook.
- Do not cook the gravy for long as it discolors the gravy.
- Instead of cream or cashew you can use almonds. Soak them in water for about 4 hours. Remove the skin and blend them.