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Preparation Time : 15
Cook Time : 20
Total Time : 35
200 to 250 grams fresh spinach OR 5 to 6 cups roughly chopped spinach OR about 7 to 9 oz spinach
1 or 2 green chilies - chopped
1 or 2 small to medium garlic cloves - roughly chopped (optional)
1/2 inch ginger - roughly chopped
3 cups water for blanching spinach
3 cups water for ice bath
1 small to medium sized onion
1 small or medium sized tomato
4 to 5 small to medium garlic cloves
1/2teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 pinch of asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
1 small to medium tej patta
200 to 250 grams paneer
1/2 cup water or add as required
1 or 2 tablespoon cream
2 tablespoon oil or ghee
1 teaspoon kasuri methi leaves
salt 1/3 tsp
2 teaspoons of cream
rinse the palak or spinach leaves very well in running water. tender stem are fine. if the stems are stringy, then discard the stems.
boil 3 cups water in a pan or microwave or electric heater. add ¼ tsp salt to the hot water and stir. then add the palak leaves in the hot water. let the palak leaves sit in the water for 1 minute.
after 1 minute, using a pasta tong, take the leaves. immediately add the palak or spinach leaves in a pan or bowl containing ice cold water. this method helps in preserving the green color of the spinach. just add 8 to 10 ice cubes to 3 cups water to get cold water. allow the spinach leaves to be in the cold water for a minute.
then drain the ice cold water. add the spinach in a blender or grinder jar with chopped ginger, garlic and green chilies. make a smooth palak puree. no need to add water while making the puree. keep the spinach puree aside
heat oil or ghee or butter in a pan or kadai. if using butter, melt it a low flame making sure that the butter does not brown. add the cumin and let them splutter. then add the tej patta or bay leaf.
add the finely chopped onions. saute till the onions become golden. then add the finely chopped garlic. saute till the raw aroma of garlic goes away. no need to brown the garlic. add the chopped tomatoes. stir and saute the tomatoes till they soften. once the tomatoes are softened and you see fat releasing from the sides of the mixture. then add the turmeric powder, red chili powder and asafoetida/hing. stir very well.
then add the palak puree and mix well. add about ⅓ to ½ cup water or as required. stir again. simmer for 6 to 7 minutes or more till the palak or spinach is cooked. season with salt. the gravy or sauce will also thicken by now.
stir and add garam masala powder. stir again and then add the 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. lastly, add cream. stir gently again so that the cream gets incorporated in the gravy uniformly. switch off the flame.
pour the palak paneer in serving bowls. while serving you can top it with some butter or cream.
Ready to serve with roti or rice.
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Richa Amit Jaiswal