- 4-5 packed cups Spinach
- 1-1½ cups or 200 gms Paneer, cut into 1 inch long and 1 cm thick squares or triangles
- 2-3 Green Chillies, minced or finely chopped (Adjust acc to taste)
- 1 medium Onion, very finely chopped or grated
- 1 small Tomato, finely chopped
- 1 tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
- 2 tbsp Fresh Cream or ¼ cup Whole Milk
- 1 tsp Sugar (Optional but recommended)
- Juice of ½ fresh Lime (Adjust acc to taste)
- 1-2 tbsp Oil/Ghee
- Salt to taste
- Spices Used:
- 1 inch Cinnamon
- 4 Cloves
- 4 Green Cardamoms, lightly crushed
- 1 heaped tsp Dhania/Coriander Powder
- ½ tsp Jeera/Cumin Powder
- ½ tsp Garam Masala (Adjust acc to taste)
- ½ tsp Kitchen King Masala (Optional)
- 1 tbsp Kasuri Methi/Dried Fenugreek Leaves, crushed (Optional)
- A pinch of Hing/Asafoetida (Optional)
Level of difficulty Average
Cost Average budget
Bring the pot of water to boil and add about a tsp of sugar. Switch off the flame and add washed spinach leaves to them. Let it rest for one minute and drain all the water through colander. Bring the colander under running cold water to stop the spinach from cooking further. You can also steam cook the spinach for 2 minutes instead of blanching in hot water. Simply omit this step if you dont want to either steam or blanch the spinach.
Next, based on your preference you can either finely chop or puree the spinach to smooth paste or simply grind it into rough paste by using food processor. I like to have little texture in Palak Paneer and hence I simply dumped the lot in food processor and pressed the pulse button few times to get rough spinach paste. Keep it aside until needed.
Heat oil/ghee in a pan on medium flame and arrange paneer pieces in a single layer. Once they turns golden, about 1-2 mins, flip them over and cook the other side for another minute. Remove them from pan and either place them on a plate lined with kitchen towel or in a bowl of warm water which will help in keeping the paneer soft. This step is optional but recommended as it helps the paneer to hold its shape instead of crumbling when cooked in spinach gravy.
In a same oil/ghee, add cinnamon, cloves and cardamoms. Fry them for half a minute.
Next add hing and finely chopped onions and sauté on medium flame till they turn golden, about 3-5 minutes.
Add ginger-garlic paste, minced green chillies, crushed kasuri methi and fry them for 3-4 mins until raw smell of ginger-garlic paste disappears.
Add garam masala, kitchen king masala, coriander powder and cumin powder and stir them till the raw smell of the spices gives way to much harmonious and melodious aroma, about 1 minute. Add about table spoon of water if you think the spices are burning and sticking to the pan.
Mix in chopped tomatoes and cook till they are pulpy and release their juice, about 2 minutes.
Add the spinach, sugar and milk, little less than ¼ cups of water and mix them well. If using fresh cream instead of whole milk, add little less than ½ cup of water. Let them cook covered for about 5-6 minutes on medium flame. Add salt to taste and let it cook uncovered for another 3-5 minutes.
Add paneer pieces and gently mix them so that the spices are evenly coated and let it simmer for 3 minutes before you switch off the flame.
Drizzle freshly squeezed lime juice and serve this delicious Palak Paneer with Naan.