Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Palak Paneer (Spinach-Cottage cheese curry): Restuarant style

Spinach is one of the healthiest vegetables rich in vitamins & minerals. It also contains omega 3 fatty acids that is generally found in salmon, tuna, walnuts. Omega 3 fatty acids are one of the scarce nutrients in vegetarian diet. There is a debate to prove/unprove that vegetarian diet lacks in omega 3 acids. To know more about omega 3 fatty acids read here.

Coming to the palak paneer recipe, I have experimented a lot on this. I was somehow not able to get the taste that matches the restaurant style. Now after loads of trial & errors, I can say I make pretty decent palak paneer. Thanks to my friends who have provided numerous tips. 



Preparation time: 15mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:
Spinach: 250gms (Big bunch) or blanched & pureed spinach: 2 cups
Paneer/Cottage cheese: 1 cup (Chopped into 1 inch cubes)
Tomato puree: 3/4 cup or 2 medium tomatoes deskinned & pureed.
Onion: 1 big (finely chopped or onion paste)
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tsp
Whipping cream: 1/2 cup
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp 
Garam masala: 1 tsp
Cumin seed powder: 1 big pinch
Butter/Oil: 1 tbsp
Salt: According to taste

Method:
Blanch the spinach, puree the spinach & keep it aside.
Heat butter/oil in a broad pan. When butter is hot, add the paneer & saute them till slight brown on the edges. 
Drain the paneer on a tissue & soak the paneer in water for 5 mins.
To the same pan, add finely minced onion & saute till the raw smell of the onions vanish. 

Add the ginger-garlic paste & saute again for another 2-3mins.

Pour in the tomato puree, salt, red chilli powder, cumin seed powder & allow the puree to cook well on a medium heat for 8-10mins. 

The puree will thicken, leaves the edge of the pan & oozes out oil. At this stage, add the pureed spinach, cream & mix well. Allow this gravy to cook for another 3-5mins.

Add the garam masala, soaked paneer cubes & mix well. Cook on a medium heat for another 5 mins.

Turn off the heat. Serve it hot with plain parathas, chapathi or any Indian bread.

Notes:
  • If I find the paneer soft & good quality one, I do not fry them. I add them directly. It tastes good either ways.
  • Baby spinach do not need blanching. 

Last note: My previous post is updated. Do check the post to know if you have identified it right!