Friday, May 13, 2011

Palak Paneer

The spices in here are very mild but have a rich aroma. The texture is smooth and velvet like. It is a very healthy dish with protein, iron and calcium. The lemon juice used in this recipe helps to retain the green color of the dish and also acts as a digestive agent.

450 gms - Spinach, washed
20ozs. - Two 9 ozs. Packets
400gms - Paneer
2 tbsp - Vegetable Oil
1 tsp - Cumin Seeds
2 tbsp - Ghee
2 cloves - Garlic, chopped
1 medium - Onion, chopped
1” - Ginger, finely julienned
4 pods - Cardamom, crushed
½ cup - Low fat Yogurt
½ tsp - Turmeric Powder
1 tbsp - Coriander Powder
1 ½ tsp - Salt
½ tsp - Black Salt, optional
1 tsp - Garam Masala
4 tbsp - Milk
1 tbsp - Lemon Juice

Heat 4 cups of water in a stockpot. Add the washed spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes. Strain and run through cold water for just a few minutes, in order to stop further cooking. Grind it in a blender. Set aside. In a saute pan, heat the vegetable oil. Wash the paneer and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the whole cube in the pan and fry it on all sides till it is a little brown in color. Let it cool on a chopping board for 5 minutes and cut it into small cubes. Quick frying paneer in whole or large cubes saves time and also gives it a crisp edge.

In a large saute pan, heat ghee and add cumin seeds. Let them crackle for 30 seconds. Now add the chopped garlic, ginger and onions.

Cook till the onion starts to sweat. They should look translucent and should not turn brown. Add crushed cardamom and cook for 1 minute and then combine yogurt. While yogurt is cooking, add turmeric, coriander powder, salt and black salt.

To get a smooth spinach paste, you can add some of the water that was used to boil the spinach while using the blender.

Let the oil separate from the mixture, and add the pureed spinach and simmer for 5 minutes. Add paneer cubes and cook them for 5 more minutes. Now add garam masala and milk. Simmer for 2 minutes and then add lemon juice. Mix well and serve it with jeera rice or naan.

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