Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer Recipe

Palak Paneer is not only delicious but also incredibly nutritious. It combines the goodness of fresh spinach with the protein-rich paneer, making it a wholesome meal. Spinach is a nutritional powerhouse, packed with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as iron, calcium, and fiber. Paneer, on the other hand, is an excellent source of high-quality protein and calcium, making it a favorite among vegetarians.

One of the remarkable aspects of Palak Paneer is its versatility. It can be prepared in various ways to cater to different preferences and dietary restrictions. For those who prefer a richer version, cream or yogurt can be added to the gravy, while those looking for a lighter option can use less oil or even make it vegan by replacing the paneer with tofu.

The Perfect Comfort Food

Palak Paneer is often associated with comfort food in India. Its creamy and mildly spiced spinach gravy provides a soothing and satisfying experience. It's not just a meal but a warm embrace, especially during the colder months.

The Spinach Gravy

The heart of Palak Paneer is its creamy spinach gravy. To achieve the perfect balance of flavors, the spinach puree is cooked with a blend of spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala. These spices not only infuse the dish with a rich aroma but also add depth to the taste.

Paneer Perfection

Paneer, the co-star of this dish, is typically cut into cubes and lightly fried before being added to the spinach gravy. This step enhances the texture of the paneer, giving it a slightly crispy exterior while retaining its soft and creamy interior.

Palak Paneer Ingredients

For Palak Puree & Paneer:

  • 200g paneer (cottage cheese), cut into cubes
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, washed and blanched
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 2-3 green chilies (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1 tablespoon oil for frying
  • Salt, to taste
  • Water, as needed

For the Gravy:

  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh cream (optional)
  • Fresh coriander leaves, for garnish
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish

Instructions for Palak Paneer

1. Blanching the Spinach:

  1. Boil a pot of water and add a pinch of salt.
  2. Add the fresh spinach leaves and blanch for 2-3 minutes until they wilt.
  3. Drain and immediately transfer the spinach to a bowl of ice water.
  4. After a minute, drain the spinach again and blend into a smooth puree. Set aside.

2. Preparing the Paneer:

  1. Heat a pan with a little oil or ghee over medium heat.
  2. Lightly fry the paneer cubes until they turn golden brown. Remove and set aside.

3. Making the Spinach Gravy:

  1. In the same pan, add a bit more oil if needed.
  2. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  3. Add chopped onions and sauté until they turn golden brown.
  4. Add grated ginger and minced garlic. Sauté for a minute.
  5. Add chopped tomatoes, green chilies, and a pinch of salt. Cook until the tomatoes turn soft and the oil starts to separate.

4. Adding the Spices:

  1. Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and garam masala. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  2. Pour in the spinach puree and mix well. Allow it to simmer for 5-7 minutes.

5. Introducing the Paneer:

  1. Add the fried paneer cubes and simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  2. Adjust the consistency with a little water if needed.

6. Serving:

  1. Taste and adjust salt and spices as per preference.
  2. Garnish with a swirl of cream or a dollop of yogurt.
  3. Serve hot with naan, roti, or rice.

Palak Paneer is more than just a dish; it's a culinary journey through the diverse and flavorful world of Indian cuisine. With its nutritious ingredients, rich spices, and versatile preparation methods, it continues to captivate the hearts and taste buds of people worldwide. Whether you're a seasoned foodie or new to Indian cuisine, Palak Paneer is a must-try dish that will leave you craving for more. So, next time you're looking for a hearty and nutritious meal, consider indulging in the delightful world of Palak Paneer.

Try out our Matar Paneer or Dosa Recipe