Sunday, September 9, 2012


pasala keerai paneer masala

Palak Paneer is an all time favorite Indian side dish. It is also popularly known as Saag Paneer. 
Paneer - Indian Cottage cheese is cooked with aromatic, creamy Spinach Puree ( Palak ) / Greens. 
Palak Paneer (Indian cottage cheese in curried spinach gravy) is omnipresent in almost every menu of the indian restaurants. Normally served as an accompaniment for Naan / Indian bread. But goes well with Phulkas / Roti's. 
Spinach is good source of Iron, vitamins and folic acid. I have avoided heavy cream and replaced it with milk. 
So here goes comparatively less fat Palak Paneer recipe.

Ingredients :

Palak / Spinach - 2 Bunches
Onion - 1 No ( Big ) ( Very Finely Chopped )
Paneer / Indian Cottage Cheese - 1 Cup ( Cubed )
Tomato - 1 No ( Big ) ( Very Finely Chopped )
Green chilies - 4 Nos.
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 Teaspoon
Red Chili powder - 1/2 Teaspoon
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 Teaspoon
Coriander Powder - 1 Teaspoon
Jeera ( Cumin) Powder - 1 Teaspoon
Kasoori Methi ( Dry fenugreek leaves ) - 3/4 Table Spoon
Milk - 1/4 Cup
Garam Masala - 1 Teaspoon
Salt - As per Taste
Oil - 3 Table Spoon
Asafoetida ( heeng ) -  A Pinch

Method : 

I always prefer to saute the palak/spinach instead of blanching to retain the green color of palak/spinach.

Clean the spinach well and remove the stems, and take out only the leaves.

Heat a teaspoon of oil in a pan and saute the spinach leaves with a pinch of sugar in medium flame until it shrinks ( until it reduce in volume) transfer it to a plate and allow it to cool, fry the green chilies also in the same pan with a drop of oil and grind it along with sauteed spinach to a coarsely blend ( Don't make it in to a puree)

You can fry the paneer to a slight golden brown and add this in hot water, and keep it covered until use / or wash the paneer cubes well in water and add it in hot water and keep it covered until use.

Heat oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds and asafoetida, then add very finely chopped onions and saute with a pinch of salt for a minute and add ginger garlic paste to it and saute until the onions turn golden brown in color now add tomatoes to it, and mix well, now add coriander, cumin, red chili powder, turmeric powder and when tomatoes turn mushy add spinach to it and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes in low flame or until the raw smell goes of the palak.
Now drain the paneer cubes from the hot water and add along with milk, and bring it to a boil.
Crush the kasoori methi in-between the palms and add it along with palak gravy.
Lastly add garam masala, with a teaspoon of ghee and simmer for 2 or 3 minutes. Add a Teaspoon of lemon juice lastly and mix well. Transfer to a serving bowl.
 Enjoy the super tasty and delicious Palak paneer with Phulka, roti or naan.

Notes :

To add richness you can use butter instead of oil.
You can use whole milk or evaporated milk instead of normal milk.
I have not blanched the spinach, you can blanch with a teaspoon of sugar in hot water and coarsely blend too. Take care not to over cook, as you won't get the green color.
You can add cream, sour cream, or plain yogurt too instead of milk.


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