Palak paneer or spinach with cottage cheese needs no introduction, a hot favourite among north Indian cuisine and is omnipresent throughout the country in its different avatars.
Spinach and cheese are simply made for each other, so when ever I picked fresh bunch of spinach, I end up doing palak paneer though tweaking it every time.
This recipe of palak paneer / spinach with cheese uses cilantro as one of the ingredient but is purely optional. Here is my version of palak paneer sans tomatoes.
Spinach (palak): 2 fresh bunch
Paneer (Indian cottage cheese): 200 g
Cilantro / coriander leaves (chopped): 1/4 cup
Ginger – garlic paste : 1 tbsp
Onion paste: 2 tsp
Green chillies: 2-3 long
Fenugreek seeds: 1 tsp
Dry red chilli: 1-2
Cumin powder: 1 tsp
Garam masala : 1 tsp
Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) : 1 tsp
Full cream (optional) : 1 tbsp
Oil : 2 tbsp
Butter : 1-2 knob
Method to prepare:
Chop the spinach and wash it under running water. Blanch the spinach in salted lukewarm water for few minutes and again refresh it in cold water. Allow it to cool down a bit.
Nicely cut the paneer or cottage cheese (you can substitute it with tofu) into cubes or whatever shapes you like and soak them in salted lukewarm water for 10 minutes. Drain the water and reserve the paneer.
Squeeze out the excess water from the spinach and blend to a smooth paste in mixer with chopped cilantro / coriander leaves and chopped green chillies. Green chillies is important as it will spiced up the otherwise bland spinach.
Heat some oil in the pan and temper the oil with fenugreek seeds and dry red chilli. Add the onion paste and fry till its rawness disappear and next add the ginger-garlic paste to it. Fry for sometime and add cumin and garam masala powder. Saute till the oil separates out and add the puree spinach. Fry on low heat till the water evaporates. Adjust the salt and check other seasonings.
Finally add the paneer to it and fold well, add some butter to give a rich taste. Stir in the cream and crushed few leaves of kasuri methi between your palms and sprinkle over it.
Enjoy the palak paneer with roti / paratha or any flat Indian bread
Sharing this recipe of Pureed spinach with Indian cottage cheese (aka palak paneer) with Seasonal Sunday at Real Sustenance
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