Saturday, August 4, 2012

Palak Paneer

You know how people feel this compulsion to bake every once in a while , Off-late I have been feeling the same with paneer :) . I think its got do with the fresh paneer sold here, and whenever i lay my eyes on them, i want to push a block of paneer into my shopping bag ;).  I did that last week and what it turned into was Palak Paneer.

I have been quite hesitant about ordering palak paneer in restaurants or making them at home, I always imagined that the dish would be quite bland and not so flavorful. The vibrant green color of the dish would tempt me but I keep away :) . Not too sure why but I have these very weird mental blocks when it comes to trying certain kinds of food - so here I am reminding myself that I need to be more food-adventurous ;).

The first time I tasted Palak Paneer was at my cousins place a few years back, I wasn't blown away with the flavor, but atleast it moved me away from my previous opinion. Since then I have made palak paneer a couple of times using the usual recipe of blending palak with tomato-onion but in my head it wasn't a lip-smacking dish. I saw a very interesting variation on a TV show and tried it the very next day. I was very happy with the taste and this recipe is a keeper for me. S loved it and ended up finishing most of the dish too! :D

Palak Paneer


Ingredients

Recipe Source- Suvayo Suvai TV show
 
Serves - 4
Spice level - moderate
Prep time - 30 mins
Cooking time - 10 mins


Palak - 1 bunch  [ 250-300 gm ]
Panner - 200 gm  [ cut into square medium sized pieces]
Onion - 1 Finely chopped
Garam Masala -  1 Tsp
Curry/Chilli/Masala powder - 1 Tsp
1/2 Tsp Sugar
Salt- as per need
Oil - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp

To grind to a paste

Coriander leaves - 2 handful
Green chilli - 3
Garlic - 8 small cloves , or 4-5 big cloves
Jeera - 1 tsp
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Cashwes - 10
Water- 4-5 Tbsp to grind with

Method

1. Firstly make a smooth paste of items given under "To grind to a paste" and keep aside.

2. Pick and wash the leaves of the palak , remove the stems completely. Boil a cup of water, add in the palak leaves along with 1/2 Tsp sugar and cook until the leaves are tender - this should take 3-5 minutes. Once done, removes the leaves alone and transfer to a different bowl. It needs to be removed from the hot water to retain color, and adding 1/2 tsp sugar in the above step is also for the same reason. Reserve the water used to cook the palak in, don't throw it away. Once the palak has cooled down a little, blend the palak to form a puree, add some reserved water if needed and keep aside. Add a tsp of salt to this puree.

3. Heat a pan, add a tbsp of oil. Arrange the cubed paneer pieces on the pan and let it roast until it starts to brown, flip the paneer cubes to slightly brown the other side too. Transfer the pieces to a tissue paper, and pat it with another tissue paper to remove the oil. Now put these paneer pieces in about a cup of lukewarm water for 15 minutes [This is done to keep the paneer pieces soft yet firm] . Drain again and remove water with tissue paper and keep aside. We saute the paneer pieces to firm them up and make sure they dont get squashed when finally added into the curry. [This step is optional, you may add in fresh paneer if you like it that way].

4. Heat a tbspn of oil in pan, add chopped onions and saute well until translucent. Add in the ground paste done in step 1 and saute well. The raw smell should entirely vanish - this will take some time 7-10 minutes. Since there are cashews in the paste, it tends to stick to the pan, so take care of this and keep stirring. Once this paste is cooked well, add in palak puree, garam masala, curry powder remaining salt , mix well and bring to boil on low flame. If the curry is too thick, add some reserved water from step 2 to loosen it. Now add in the paneer pieces ,simmer flame and let it boil for few more minutes.Remove from flame.

Serve with pulkas , it will be super yum! :)


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8 Yummmm:

Spice up the Curry August 4, 2012 at 10:01 AM  

very yummy. love the bright green color

meena August 4, 2012 at 12:06 PM  

wow u made it totally different way and the green color is amazing here

Lavi August 4, 2012 at 12:45 PM  

This is my favo, my recipe is similar, but i don't add corriander leaves. adding sugar to retain color is a nice tip!

Gauri August 4, 2012 at 7:44 PM  

One of my favourites, so simple and delicious!

Priti August 6, 2012 at 10:24 AM  

Yum ..looks too gud n perfect and like tht bowl

Padhu August 6, 2012 at 10:58 AM  

Palak paneer looks yummy and the bowl also looks so lovely

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