/body> >

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Palak Paneer / Cottage Cheese in Spinach Gravy / Vegetarian North Indian Recipe


Palak Paneer is a popular North Indian Paneer gravy dish . It is a vegetarian preparation in which soft Cottage Cheese (Paneer) cubes are cooked in a smooth Spinach (Palak) curry. It is a perfect blend of taste and health. The dish goes well with Chapati , Naan or Jeera Rice.

There are many ways in which this gravy dish is prepared and most of the preparations involve use of tomato as base for gravy. This is my Mums recipe and has no tomato in it. The recipe involves making of a basic green gravy which can be used for other dishes also. The use of freshly ground spice powder in this green gravy gives it a nice aroma and taste. I have used home made Paneer in this dish . We do not get Palak here in Penang, so have used Bayam leaves instead (leafy vegetable from same family as Spinach but have pointed leaves )

The expression " eat with your eyes" is certainly true because when a dish is visually appealing , it's more appetizing. In case of this dish, the color of Palak Paneer says it all. To retain the lush green color of the Palak gravy you have to follow certain rules. Blanch the Spinach leaves prior to making puree. which means the washed leaves are first added to boiling salted water , put off the flame after few seconds and let it stay there for 2-3 minutes uncovered. Strain it and immediately transfer the spinach leaves to a container of cold water. This step helps in retaining the colour of the Palak Paneer gravy.

Ingredients:
For basic Green Gravy
  • 250 grams Spinach (Palak)
  • 1 tsp of freshly ground spice powder (dry roast 1-2 Cloves , 3-4 Black Peppercorns ,1 inch Cinnamon, 1 tbsp of Coriander seeds, 1 tbsp of Cumin seeds and grind to powder. )
  • 1 tsp Ginger, Green Chili Paste(crush 1/2 inch Ginger and 2 green Chilies)
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • Salt to taste
Other Ingredients
  • 200 grams Paneer (Cottage Cheese) cut into bite size cubes
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 2 cloves of Garlic finely chopped
  • 1 Onion finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Cream

Method:

For basic Green Gravy
  1. Wash the Spinach leaves thoroughly . Discard the stringy stems , can keep the tender ones.  

     2.    Now boil 2-3 cups of water in a sauce pan. Add salt and a pinch of sugar to it. Add the spinach leaves to this boiling water and put off the flame in a minute or so. Let the leaves stand in that hot water for 2-3 minutes, drain it and transfer them to ice cold water. let the leaves be there for more 2-3 minutes.


    3.  Grind the leaves in a grinder to get the puree.


  4.  In a pan heat the 2 tbsp butter on a low heat , add the green Chili and ginger paste to it. Saute well for a minute or so and then add this Palak puree to it.



  5.  Season it with 1 tsp of freshly ground spice powder and salt to taste. Let the puree cook for 2-3 minutes or until it thickens to desired consistency.The basic green gravy is ready. We can use this gravy for other dishes also like Aloo Palak subji , Tofu Palak gravy, Palak Paneer Pulav, Chciken in Spinach gravy etc. Use the gravy immediately for any preparation, though it can be made and kept in refrigerator but i prefer to use leafy vegetables the same day. If you intend to make this basic green gravy 1-2 days ahead, do not add cream first.


  6.  Now add cream to the gravy and simmer it for 1-2 more minutes before adding the Paneer to it. You can pour this gravy on the tofu pieces in a serving dish and enjoy the vegan dish- Tofu Palak.


  7.  You may directly add the Paneer cubes to this gravy at this stage. It would become a Onion Garlic free recipe then.  But i have sauteed the Paneer cubes. For this , in a pan or wok, add the remaining 1 tbsp butter and add the finely chopped Garlic to it, saute on a low flame until the raw smell goes.


 8.  Now add the finely chopped onions, saute them and add the Paneer cubes to this. Stir fry it delicately, taking care not to break the pieces of Paneer.



  9.  Put off the flame. Add this sauteed Paneer to the gravy. Let it simmer for 1-2 minutes more and put off the flame.


  10.  Serve hot with Naan , Chapati or Jeera Rice.

                                 

  If you are looking for more Paneer dishes, do check my posts on Paneer Makhanwala , Paneer Tikka , Kadai Paneer , Stuffed Paneer Paratha , Paneer Lolipop


No comments :

poonambachhav.blogspot.com