Whenever I make a batch of paneer at home, the first dish I do with it is this Palak Paneer, mashed spinach gravy with Indian Cottage Cheese, this being my daughter's most favorite dish. I had made it so many times, but something or the other went wrong, nothing wrong with the dish or its taste, but with the pictures. This time, I think the pictures turned out better, so I thought I'll go ahead and do the posting. There are couple of versions that I do, this is one of them with some freshly ground masala. This is a version that I make when I have to make it for a group, the added masala increases the quantity of the dish, it's a very tasty side dish to rotis and naans..
Need To Have
- Palak Or Spinach - 2 medium bunches
- Paneer Cubes - 1 cup
- Cumin Seeds - 1 teaspoon
- Kasuri Methi - 3 tablespoons
- Garam Masala - 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt - to taste
- Onion - 1 medium chopped
- Tomato -1 medium chopped
- Green Chilly - 2
- Garlic Cloves - 4
- Chopped Ginger - 1 tablespoon
- Cashews - 4
- Cloves - 2
- Cardamom - 1
- Cinnamon - 1" piece
- Javentri - 1" piece
Blanch the spinach along with the 2 chiillies and cool. Heat some oil add the onions, garlic and ginger given under 'to grind', saute, when the onion turns pink add the tomatoes, saute till the tomatoes turn mushy.
Cool and grind this along with the other ingredients given under 'to grind' ( the orange flower like thing is javentri). Grind the cooled spinach coarsely.
Now heat some more oil, add the cumin seeds, when it starts sizzling, add the ground paste, saute it well till you get a nice smell, for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle some water, if the paste starts sticking to the pan. Then add the ground spinach and 1/4 cup water and salt and cook for another 2 minutes.
Then finally add the paneer cubes, garam masala and the kasuri methi ( crush it between your palms), mix and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove and serve it warm with rotis or naans.
Kasuri Methi is dried fenugreek leaves, available in Indian stores, you'll also find javentri there, if you don't find it just ignore it and increase the garam masala added at the end to 3/4 teaspoon.
The ground paste should be half of the ground spinach, otherwise you'll not get the nice green color at the end, the taste though will be a little different but still good.
If the green chillies are not very spicy, add a little red chilly powder while sauteing the ground masala.