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Palak Paneer (Restaurant style)

The very famous and popular Punjabi (North Indian) dish palak paneer (spinach and cheese), the most incredible and scrumptious dish. In every menu of the restaurants you will find this palak paneer. Palak paneer is a creamy thick sauce made with spinach puree and the pieces of paneer, the combination goes well. I have prepared this dish as per my taste but this is truly as per Punjabi style with little changes.

In palak paneer : the spinach is blanched, pureed, spices are cooked, cottage cheese is added in the spinach curry. But I suated the paneer cubes with cumin seeds and kasoori methi, so that paneer is well blended with spices and absorbs the flavour of kasoori methi, then added to the palak curry. Every one prepares palak paneer as per taste. After making many trials and errors, at last I prepared palak paneer which I liked the most, which I prepared with simple ingredients and easy to make. To retain the colour of spinach, don’t overcook. Palak paneer goes well with jeera rice, roti (chapathi), Naan and tandoori roti.

Preparation time: 30 mins

Cooking time: 45 mins

Cuisine: Punjabi

Serves: 3 to 4

Spiciness: Mild

Ingredients

    For the paste

  • Palak (spinach) leaves – 500 gms
  • For the curry

  • Oil – 4 tbsp
  • Butter – 2 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Onion – 150 gms or 1 (medium)
  • Garlic cloves (big, chopped) – 2
  • Tomato – 180 gms or 1 (medium)
  • Green chillies – 2
  • Lemon juice – 2 tsp
  • Single cream – 3 tbsp
  • For cottage cheese

  • Oil – 2 tsp
  • Cottage cheese – 300 gms
  • Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Kasoori methi – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Garnishing

  • Single cream – 2 tbsp

Method

    Preparing palak paneer involves 3 stages.
    1. Boiling spinach and pureeing
    2. Cooking spices and mixing with spinach puree
    3. Mixing cottage cheese in spinach curry

    Boiling or steaming spinach and pureeing

  • Heat a wider vessel, when hot add washed and drained spinach leaves, simmer the flame and cook by closing the lid for 10min, but slightly little open.
  • The spinach leaves will get cooked in the steam itself, no need to add water.
  • After 10 mins, some spinach water was left 1/4th cup approximately. Allow to cool.
  • Cooking spices and mixing with spinach puree

  • Heat the non stick vessel with oil 2tbsp, when hot add onion (1/2), cook till onions are soft and transparent.
  • Add garlic cloves, tomato (1/2), green chilli (1), cook until tomatoes are soft but the garlic should not turn golden brown, switch off.
  • Add to the cooked spinach and puree it, with its remaining water left from its steam. You can add water to make the puree thinner as per your consistency. I like little thick consistency.
  • Again heat the same vessel in which onions were cooked, add remaining oil and butter, when hot add cumin seeds and remaining onion (1/2), cook until soft and transparent.
  • Add green chilli (1) and remaining tomato (1/2) cook till tomatoes are soft. Switch off.
  • Add the cooked onion mixture to the spinach mixture, mix well.
  • Cook for 5min on medium flame, keep stirring in between.
  • Add cream, salt as per taste and lemon juice mix, cook on simmer flame for 5min without closing the lid.
  • Mixing cottage cheese in spinach curry

  • In meanwhile, heat a non stick pan with oil, add cumin seeds when it starts spluttering add paneer cubes, rub kasoori methi in your palm then add or sprinkle kasoori methi on top of paneer cubes evenly, suate until paneer is golden brown.
  • Immediately add this cooked paneer cubes in the cooked spinach curry, mix well and simmer for 10 to 12min, in between stir by keeping the lid open. Palak paneer is ready.
  • Serve palak paneer with Naan and jeera rice.
  • Garnishing

  • Drizzle single cream and serve.

Notes

  • While boiling or steaming spinach, you can add 1garlic clove and 1green chilli and then puree it.
  • Instead of cooking onion and tomato mixture separately for the spinach puree and then again for the curry, you can cook the onion mixture once and just divide in to two halves, one half while pureeing spinach and the other for the spinach curry.
  • Cut the paneer into cubes or small rectangle or triangle shapes as per your liking.
  • In the spinach curry, you can add milk instead of cream and sprinkle some kasoori methi in the spinach curry.
  • You can add paneer cubes 200gms and make the spinach curry thin by adding water and cook for some time. Refer my saag recipe with colourful patties.

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