All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.

2011-11-12

Paraku paniiru / palak paneer / spinach and cheese curry

This light palak paneer is reminiscent of my favorite dish in Agra. The original recipe was lost between relocations in following years, and this is a recreation attempt of the recipe I got from the chef.




<Ingredients>

(3-4 servings)

1/2 bunch spinach
Small handful (70-80 g) paneer (equivalent to paneer made with 500 ml milk)
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper
Several methi (fenugreek) seeds
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 medium onion
1 clove garlic
1 knob ginger
3-4 tbsp crushed tomato (1/2-3/4 medium tomato)


<Directions>
1.

Blanch spinach.
Roughly squeeze out water (to the point where it would not flood the cutting board/countertop), and cut into 3-4 cm.

Finely chop in food processor. Do not puree.

2.

Finely chop onion.
Grate garlic and ginger (OK to use the same grater and keep them together).

Cut paneer into cubes.
If using a fresh tomato, dice in matching size.

3.

In a pot, put oil and cumin seeds, and cook on medium low to low heat until fragrant.

Add garlic, ginger and onion, and saute on medium to medium low heat until onion becomes translucent and is at the point of starting to lightly brown.

4.

Add tomato, and saute until well cooked and oil becomes somewhat reddish.

5.

Add cayenne pepper, methi, garam masala and salt. Saute 30 seconds to 1 minute each time when you add these.




6.

Add spinach, and mix. Taste and add salt/garam masala if necessary.

7.

Add paneer, mix, and cook for a few minutes.

Ready to serve.

<Notes>
  • Finely chop spinach to retain the vegetable's fresh taste. Avoid adding lots of water to spinach/food processor, as it would extend cooking time and damage the green color.
  • Avoid pureed tomato. Crushed or diced tomato provides a good contrast in the taste and texture of the final dish.

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