Palak Paneer or Cottage Cheese in Spinach greens

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Unlike these days, Spinach were only available in the winters in Odisha, India. So the cold season was very much of prized time, where the colorful vegetables made a way to our family’s plate. Like the vegetables, the dishes made out of them were very grand and were served with lots of love and care. Furthermore, the seasonal food habits of my childhood play so much memory during winters that I unintentionally try to recreate them. However, time has changed, the huge cold storages have somewhat played the trick in making veggies available round the year. But the memory and the vibes of the season to the family food tradition are something that’s untouched. One such special dish is “Palak Paneer”.

Being an Odia, Palak Paneer is not very kin to my family, however work and relocation have also influenced my choice. Palak Paneer is very native dish to North India and all the Indian veggie lover always treasure to keep this as a side. It’s creamy, delicate, spiced and no wonder loaded with loads of nutrition. It goes great with chapatis or parathas.

Palak Paneer
Palak Paneer

With time this dish has become an integral part of my family dinner. The little one is also growing fond of this green dish, perhaps because of its vibrant color on the plate.

Here goes the recipe of Palak Paneer:

Ingredients for Palak Paneer:

  1. Spinach – 1/2 bunch
  2. Paneer – 1/2 lb, cubed
  3. Milk- 1/4 cup
  4. Ginger – 1/2 in long
  5. White Onion – 1/4 cup finely chopped
  6. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  7. Cashew nuts – a handful (8-10 pieces)
  8. Green chillies – 1
  9. Bay Leaves – 1
  10. Cinnamon – a small piece
  11. Cardamom – 2
  12. Peppercorns – 3
  13. Cloves – 2
  14. Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  15. Red chili powder – 1 tsp
  16. Sugar – 1 tsp
  17. Salt – according to taste
  18. Vegetable Oil – 3 tbsp

Steps of Preparation for Palak Paneer:

  1. First of all blanch the spinach, since the Palak has to look fresh and green – How to blanch greens?
  2. Soak the cashew nuts, cumin seeds for 10-15 mins.
  3. Grind together blanched spinach, soaked cashew nuts, cumin seeds, green chili and ginger in a mixer. As the water is already present in the greens don’t add more water.
    Making of the Green Gravy
    Making of the Green Gravy

    Making of the Green Gravy
    Making of the Green Gravy
  4. In the meantime, heat a wide bottomed pan and add 1 tbsp vegetable oil and saute the paneer cubes till a tint of golden color appears on the surface.
    Frying the Paneer or Cottage Cheese Cubes
    Frying the Paneer or Cottage Cheese Cubes

    Cooked Cottage Cheese Cubes
    Cooked Cottage Cheese Cubes
  5. Keep aside the paneer cubes. In the same pan, add 2 tbsp of oil and add the whole spices (Cinnamon, Cloves, Bay leaves, Black pepper, Cardamom).
    The heating of oil and butter
    The heating of oil and butter

    Adding the whole spices
    Adding the whole spices
  6. Once the whole spices ooze out the flavors in the oil, add the chopped onions and saute till softened and cooked.

    Adding the Onions
    Adding the Onions
  7. Add the coriander powder, red chili powder, salt and sugar and mix them uniformly.

    Assing the ground spices, salt and sugar
    Adding the ground spices, salt and sugar
  8. Then add the green paste to the masalas and cook them for 4-5 mins.

    Assing the ground spices, salt and sugar
    Adding the ground spices, salt and sugar
  9. Once the gravy appears to be cooked (i.e. The oil separates from the mixture), add milk and mix it to bring a uniform consistency.
    Cooked Green Gravy
    Cooked Green Gravy

    Adding the milk
    Adding the milk
  10. Then add the paneer cubes and saute it so that the gravy coats well with the paneer cubes. And this completes the recipe.
    Adding the paneer cubes
    Adding the paneer cubes

    Coating the Paneer cubes
    Coating the Paneer cubes

Finally, serve it hot with the chapatis and parathas to enjoy a delicious meal.

Cottage cheese in Spinach Gravy
Cottage cheese in Spinach Gravy

Palak Paneer
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Palak Paneer or Cottage Cheese in Spinach Gravy is a creamy, smooth, spiced green gravy curry which is best enjoyed with Indian Flat bread.

 

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