Spinach Paneer / Palak Paneer
Dear Gujarati Food Made Easy Lovers!
I hope you are all keeping safe and healthy; New Zealand has gotten rid of the Covid19, so hopefully many more countries will soon follow suit! In the name of keeping healthy, we all know how nutritious spinach is for our bodies and it is for that reason (and of course at the request of our followers), I shall be sharing with you today the recipe for Palak Paneer (Spinach Paneer).
I first tasted one of my favourite palak paneer recipes at my dear friend's home where she made it for me; I have taken her recipe and changed a few things - not because I didn't like hers - in fact, I loved her recipe but my parents like to cook the paneer off (make it slightly brown in the frying pan in a very small quantity of oil) before they mix it in with the curried spinach.
Palak is the Hindi name for spinach and Gujaratis use that same word as well. Paneer is an Indian home-made cheese which can also be bought at any local supermarket these days. I have shared the recipe for paneer in one of my previous posts; here is the link:
So without further ado, here is the recipe for Palak Paneer / Spinach Paneer:
(serves 3 to 4 people)
200g Paneer cheese (cubed - nowadays available in all supermarkets as well as Indian stores)
25g Paneer cheese (hand crumbled)
400 - 500g spinach leaves (fresh, washed and finely chopped - remove and thick stems)
2 tbsps sunflower oil (to cook the spinach)
2 tbsps sunflower oil (to fry off the paneer)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 medium onion (peeled, washed and finely diced)
1 tsp fresh ginger (peeled, washed and grated)
1 big clove garlic (peeled, washed and grated)
1 tsp fresh green chillies (take off stems, wash and grind them into a paste)
150g chopped tomatoes (either fresh or canned - I used canned)
1 tsp salt
0.5 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp cumin-coriander powder (also known as thana - jeeru)
1 large pinch of turmeric powder
3 tbsps hot water (optional)
1 level tsp dried fenugreek leaves / kasuri methi (available in all Indian grocery stores)
1 level tsp garam masala (available in all Indian grocery stores)
NB: you will get the best results with baby spinach leaves
1. In a wok, place 2 tbsps sunflower oil and heat the oil on a medium heat.
2. Add in the cumin seeds and cook until golden brown.
3. Add in the diced onion and cook until soft and they turn slightly golden brown.
4. Add in the ginger and garlic and stir them in until they also turn golden in colour.
5. Add in the green chillies and stir them in well.
6. Next, stir in the tomatoes and ensure all the ingredients are well combined.
7. Add in the salt, red chilli powder and the turmeric powder and stir well.
8. When the tomatoes start to soften, add in the spinach leaves and after giving it all a good stir, cover the wok with the wok lid and let it cook on a medium heat until the spinach wilts and releases its own water from within.
9. Depending on how runny you would like your palak/spinach paneer to be, continue cooking on medium heat until the excess water burns off. If you would like it more runny, then burn less of the fluid off. Continue to keep the lid on the wok for a few minutes until the spinach / palak is cooked.
10. Take the wok lid off and add in about 3 tbsp of hot water and mix the spinach / palak well. You may skip this stage if you would like a less runny consistency of your final palak paneer.
11. Crumble in 25g of the paneer into the wok and stir well until it starts to dissolve in there.
12. Add in the kasuri methi / dried fenugreek leaves and garam masala and mix well.
13. Let the curried spinach cook in the wok on a very low flame while you fry off the paneer (step 14).
14. In a separate fry pan, heat a couple of tablespoons of sunflower oil until quite hot and fry off the cubed paneer pieces until they turn golden in colour.
15. Once the paneer is cooked and golden in colour, add it into the curried spinach / palak and mix well until all the paneer pieces are well coated.
16. Serve hot with chapatis, naan bread or tandoori roti.
So there you have it - delicious spinach/palak paneer! Let me know in the comments how yours turned out! Enjoy!
'Til next time...!
Bon appetit! xx