Today I present to you one of my favourite recipes- it’s the best Palak Paneer you will ever make! I promise!
When you grow up eating something everyday, you tend to automatically assume you know how to make it.At least I did.For the longest time I made Palak Paneer without thinking.It used to be dark, have an irony taste to it.I only made it when I felt my body needed extra nutrients or when I remember Popoye.
Then, as I started diving deeper into the culinary world I found some tricks of the trade.Especially when working with Spinach.Unlike me, you don’t have to re invent the wheel because I am going to tell you all the secrets of the best Palak Paneer Ever!
How to make the best Palak Paneer Ever!
The first thing– there is nothing more off-putting than sandy gritty texture in food.So always always wash your spinach till you can’t see anymore mud in the water.I usually do this in batches.This step is very very very important.I can’t tell you how many times I have skipped or skimmed on it and felt sorry!So Wash Wash Wash your Spinach!
The second thing– Which no one tells you.Blanch your Spinach– Which means- dunk your spinach leaves in boiling water for 30 seconds before taking them out and submerging it fully in cold water.This is the secret- the only secret of bright green Palak Paneer(or Palak anything!)
Oh and the Third thing- Prepare your paneer.Most often the paneer we get in the market is hard or not as fresh as we would like it to be.But this is rectifyable. Cut and submerge the paneer in warm water till you prepare the palak gravy- This would make sure its soft and supple.
Now the other thing – I like my palak paneer with some body and texture and hence I use chopped onions and tomatoes to make the gravy but if you like silky smooth palak paneer -then Puree your masala before adding the palak puree.
Can Palak Paneer be made- Healthy,Vegan & Paleo
To make the Palak Paneer Vegan- Swap tofu for paneer and to make it vegan- Use either cashew cheese or mushrooms,peas or any other vegetable instead of the Cottage Cheese.
Skip the addition of Fresh Cream from top to save some extra calories.
- 500 gms Spinach Palak
- 250 gms Paneer Firm Cottage Cheese Cubed
- 1 Onion Chopped
- 1 Tomato Chopped
- 2 Cloves Garlic- Minced
- 1 inch Ginger-Minced
- 2 Dried Red Chillies
- 1 Green Chilli- Chopped
- 1 Tsp Cumin Jeera
- 1 tbsp Coriander powder
- 1 tsp Red chilli powder
- a Pinch Asafoetida Hing
- 3 Tbsp Oil
- 1 Tsp Garam Masala
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp Fresh Cream for Garnish
Cut the paneer into cubes and submerge in warm water.
Boil water in a large pot.Also prepare a bowl of ice cold water.
Using Tongs(Chimta) submerge 1/4 spinach in boiling water.Wait for 30 seconds.Take it out and submerge it in a bowl of iced water.Repeat with the rest of it.
Squeeze the water out of the spinach(as best as you can).
Puree it and set aside.
Heat the oil in a pot.Once hot, add the Cumin.As it starts to splutter- add the asafoetida,Green Chillies and the red chillies.
Add the Ginger & Garlic next- Sauté for 20-30 seconds.Follow this with chopped onions.
When the onions start to brown ,Sprinkle in the garam masala, coriander powder &red chilli powder. Mix everything together and cook for barely 10-20 seconds before adding in the chopped tomato.
Cook this till the tomatoes are mushy and the oil starts to separate.Read notes for a silky gravy*
Add the spinach puree, Salt & lime juice.Cook only till the spinach gravy starts to boil.
Add the cubed Paneer and drizzle over the fresh cream to serve.
To make the palak paneer gravy silky smooth- Grind the onion tomato masala before adding the spinach puree.
Here are some of my absolute favourite Indian Curries