Palak Paneer is a popular North Indian curry made of blanched spinach and soft paneer. This restaurant style spicy Punjabi palak paneer recipe prepares a yummy curry by cooking shallow fried paneer cubes in a healthy spinach gravy, which is sautéed with finely balanced curry spices in aromatic ghee. Additionally, this recipe uses milk cream to bring in rich creamy texture. Serve this spinach paneer curry with equally delicious garlic naan for a scrumptious meal.
Preperation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2 servings
- 1 large bunch or 4 cups chopped Spinach (Palak)
- 3/4 cup (approx. 150 gm) Paneer (cubbed into 1/2 inches pieces)
- 1-2 Green Chillies, seeded and chopped (or to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seeds, optional
- 1 large Onion, finely chopped (approx. 1/2 cup)
- 1 teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste (or crushed)
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Kasuri Methi (dry fenugreek leaves), optional
- 2 tablespoons Fresh Cream
- 1/3 cup Water
- 2 tablespoons Oil + 1 tablespoon Butter
- Salt to taste
Step by Step Directions:
1. Clean and wash spinach in water to remove any soil or impurities. To blanch the spinach, boil it in salted water for 2 minutes.
2. Drain it using a big perforated spoon or a strainer.
3. Immediately transfer drained spinach into cold water and keep for a minute.
4. Drain excess water and transfer blanched spinach to the medium size jar of a mixer grinder. Add green chillies and grind until smooth puree. If required, add few tablespoons of water while grinding.
5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a non-stick pan or kadai over medium flame. Add paneer cubes and shallow fry them until the sides turn light brown. Transfer them to a plate and keep aside. You can remove excess ghee or oil from it by placing them on absorbent kitchen paper napkin.
6. Heat remaining 1-tablespoon oil and 1-tablespoon butter together in the same pan over medium flame. Add cumin seeds and saute them for 30 seconds. (If you don’t like cumin seeds, you can avoid it.) Add finely chopped onion and stir fry until it turns translucent. Add ginger-garlic paste and stir fry for 30 seconds.
Apart from serving tasty Punjabi palak paneer gravy with various Indian breads like plain paratha, butter naan and lachha paratha, it can also be enjoyed with steamed rice or jeera rice and boondi raita.
Tips and Variations:
- Make best palak paneer with tofu by adding shallow fried tofu cubes. If paneer cubes are not available and you still want to enjoy the goodness of this Punjabi curry, prepare it with only tofu cubes.
- If you want to have very soft paneer that mixes well with gravy of palak, soak them in hot water for 10 minutes after shallow frying.
- Add milk cream only after turning off the flame as it may curdle if added before.
- Add more water in step-8 and adjust seasoning according to taste to make more amount of gravy in curry.
- This simple and easy recipe uses shallow fried paneer cubes to improve the flavor and texture of curry. However, you can avoid shallow frying them to reduce the calorie of this dish.