Updated: Dec 26, 2021
Sarson, palak, methi, bathua are all available fresh and in abundance during the winters. As much as I love all forms of Saag, this recipe of Palak Paneer is a winner.
Palak Paneer is usually served with naan or chapati. Though it also tastes great paired with makke ki roti or thalipeeth with a large-ish dollop of fresh homemade white butter... super delicious!
I like to serve palak paneer with jeera rice or this veggie pulao recipe too!
To make a vegan version of this recipe of Palak Paneer, use fried cauliflower, tofu, seitan, soy nuggets or TVP of choice instead of paneer.
And here is a Paneer Bhurji recipe that you may want to try from my Indian food recipe blog WhiskMixStir.
And while you're looking for winter recipes, try Kanji; an Indian beverage that is fermented hence, naturally probiotic.
Note: A bunch of fresh spinach leaves here would be approx. 12 cups of tightly packed, roughly chopped spinach leaves. Remember that spinach leaves are high in water content and wilt down to tiny quantities when cooked. So 12 cups of uncooked spinach leaves will give you approx. 3-4 cups of spinach purée.
This recipe of palak paneer is naturally gluten free and vegetarian.
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Prep: 15 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Ingredients to make Palak Paneer
1 bunch of spinach leaves / palak (see notes above)
250 gms paneer
1 tbsp cold pressed mustard oil or ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds / jeera
5-6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
2-3 green chillies, finely chopped (or as per taste)
2 onions, medium size, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, medium size, finely chopped
1 tsp flour (optional)
1 tbsp fresh cream
Salt, to taste
Method of making Palak Paneer
Clean and blanch the spinach leaves in lightly salted water. Add half a teaspoon of turmeric powder / haldi to the water to retain the green colour of the spinach. Rinse and add cold water with ice cubes to cool the spinach leaves quickly – this also helps retain colour. Grind the spinach leaves to a purée.
Cut paneer in to 1 inch cubes.
In a pan, preferably a cast iron kadhai, heat cold pressed mustard oil / ghee. If you're using cold pressed mustard oil, always bring the oil to its smoking point first. Leave it to cool and then start your cooking process. This is done to cook out the pungent flavour of mustard oil.
Lightly fry the paneer pieces and keep aside. You could use the paneer as it is too, as done in the traditional recipe of palak paneer.
Add cumin seeds, garlic, ginger and green chillies to the kadhai. Once the aromatics release their flavours, add onions and cook till lightly brown. Add tomatoes and continue to cook until the masala is done. The onions and tomatoes should still have a little texture, not completely mashed / cooked.
Add the palak / spinach purée and cook through on low-medium heat till all the flavours come together, about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt as per taste.
Add 1 tsp flour, preferably corn flour (makai ka atta - the one used to make makke ki roti, not corn starch used for thickening soups). In the traditional recipe of palak paneer, maize or corn flour is added only for binding the palak saag, so your palak paneer is not runny when served on a plate. Skip adding the flour if you like.
Add paneer and mix well lightly, cook for a couple of minutes more allowing the paneer to absorb the flavours. Mix in the fresh cream. Taste and adjust seasoning.
If you like, you could add a teaspoon of garam masala to your palak paneer at this point – though the recipe doesn’t really need it - simple flavours work better for this recipe of palak paneer.
If you're serving palak paneer as a side, pair it with this basic moong dal tadka.
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