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Spinach Splendor: Palak Paneer
It’s a vegetarian treat that you can find on every North Indian restaurant’s menu. A curry that is both rich and healthy and goes well with rice or rotis. Chef Sanjay Patel shows you how to make it at home.
(Above): Palak Paneer [Photo: SILICONEER]
- ½ lb. paneer (Indian cheese, cubed and lightly fried)
- 3 big bunches spinach (discard the coarse stems, blanch in hot water for 2 minutes and make a paste by blending in a blender and keep aside
- 2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 onions finely chopped
- 2 green chili slit lengthwise
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 2 big juicy tomatoes (blanched in hot water, peeled and pureed)
- 1 cup water (use the water in which spinach was blanched)
- salt to taste
- ½ tsp garam masala powder (make a powder of 2 cloves, 1 cardamom and 1” cinnamon stick)
- 1 tbsp malai (top of milk)
- ¼ tsp kasuri methi (optional)
Add ghee in a heavy-bottomed vessel and add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add the onions and green chili sauté them till light brown. Don’t burn them.
Add ginger garlic paste and fry further for 3 minutes. Add red chili powder and coriander powder and combine well.
Add tomato paste and let it cook for 5-6 minutes on medium heat. Add spinach paste and let it cook further for another 4-5 minutes.
Add the fried paneer cubes and combine. Cook covered on low heat for 3 minutes. Add the spinach soaked water and salt and cook on medium heat for 10-12 minutes. Add malai, garam masala powder and kasuri methi and mix well.
Reduce flame, cover and cook for 2 minutes.
Serve hot with Basmati rice or naan and rotis.
Prep & Cooking: 45 minutes
Serves 5-6 persons
Sanjay Patel has a degree from the Culinary Institute in Birmingham, U.K., and is certified in food and hygiene. He was named 1996 Chef of the Year by Quality Cuisine, U.K. Patel is executive chef at Milan restaurant in Milpitas, Calif.