Wednesday, February 24, 2010

* Palak Paneer (Firm Cottage Cheese in spinach gravy )

Poooof,,after a long time I could post this.I apologize for all my blog visitors for this long break.But there is a good reason,too many things happened in a short period of time,had vacation to India,lost my camera and move to the new place..Everything took a lot of my time.Well now I'm on track and I will try my best to post new recipes regularly.
Palak paneer,,one of the most exotic vegan India dishes,,pretty popular in north india,,but rest parts also its well known.I love this dish because of the nutrition value of it and the fact that I love Paneer( firm cottage cheese).Spinach is rich in vitamin C, fiber and flavonoid that functions as antioxidant and anti-cancer agent.Along with that spinach is also a nutritional powerhouse. And ladies,, Spinach is an anti-aging vegetable,,so I like eating more of the stuff than buying antioxidant bottles :)
Here goes the recipe for the ever green Palak Paneer :

1. Spinach - 1 bunch
2. Paneer (Cottage Cheese) - 200 gms
3. Onion - 1 medium size chopped
4. Tomato - 1 medium size
5. Green chillies -1 or 2 (optional)
6. Ginger garlic paste - 1tbsp
7. Oil/Butter -1 tsp
8. Garlic - 1 clove(for blanching with spinach)
9. Ginger - 1/2 inch minced (for blanching with spinach)
10. Bay leaf - 1
11. Cloves -3
12. Cardamom -1
13. Cumin -1/2 Tsp
14. Nutmeg Powder -1/4 tsp
15. Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
16. Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
17. red chilly powder -1/4 tsp (optional)
18. sugar -1/2 tsp (optional,,you can ajust the hotness of red chillies with some sugar)
19. garam masala -1/4 tsp
20.Cream - 2 tb sp (optional for garnishing)


1. Cut paneer in to cubes(In toronto we get Nanak brand paneer in most south Asian stores. They are sold in 1 lb bricks so you need to cube them at home before cooking) and sauté in a non stick pan without adding any oil or butter,just saute it for a few minutes untill the paneer gets a a little browned.Keep it aside.

2. Wash the spinach bunch nicely and just blanch them with the garlic and ginger(The reason for adding some ginger and garlic,,My husband doesn't like the leafy smell in the palak paneer .That was one of the reason why he never used to like this dish).After 5 minutes of blanching the leaves with garlic and ginger.Bleand it very well and keep it aside.

3. Now you are ready to go,In a non-stick pan add 1 tsp Oil/butter.add the whole spices,cumin and green chillies.

4. Add chopped onion,sprinkle some salt.Once the onion is translucent add ginger garlic paste.

5. When you get the smell of cooked ginger garlic paste add chopped tomatoes.After tomatoes get a little softer add cumin powder,corriander powder,chilly powder.If required add a little water in order to avoid the spices to get burnt and cook for 3-4 minutes.

6. Now add the spinach paste you have blended before to the pan.Adjust the salt and if you like add some sugar.Taste and adjust to your taste and let it boil for 5-7 minutes.

7. Add the paneer(cubed and sauted cottage cheese) at this point.

8. Sprinkle soem garam masala,nutmeg powder and stirr in.

9. Garnish with some cream(optional,I didnt have cream today hence omitted that part) for richness and serve with roti/rice.

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