Saturday, January 7, 2012

Palak Paneer; Indian Spinach & Cheese

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(4 servings)

With the holidays behind us, I'm leaning towards lighter fare this week. In some respects this dish is a bit like Matar Paneer. The main difference of course is using spinach instead of peas. I decided not to fry the paneer in ghee this time, but added it as is, instead.

The paneer is easy to make and a nice introduction to cheese making if you can't find it at the store. All you need to make it (aside from milk and vinegar)  is a cheesecloth or a piece of loose woven muslin cloth.

This is one of those dishes which reheats really well and seems to taste even better the next day.

1 large yellow onion, cut into quarters
2 cloves garlic
2" piece of fresh ginger, skin removed 
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tbsp ghee, or clarified butter (or just plain unsalted butter)
2  10 oz pkgs frozen spinach, defrosted - do not squeeze dry
1 tbsp tomato paste
up to 1 cup water or whey (if you made your own paneer)
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp heavy cream (optional)
1/2 lb paneer, cut into 1/2" cubes
salt to taste

cooked rice for serving

Place the onion, garlic, ginger, jalapeno peppers and spices into the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth.

Heat the butter in a pot. Add the pureed mixture and cook for about 15 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring from time to time.

Place one of the packages of the defrosted spinach (or both if you prefer this to be completely smooth) into the bowl of the food processor and blend until it's smooth.

Add all of the spinach along with the tomato paste and water or whey to the pot. Stir until everything is well combined. Cover the pot, lower the heat and cook for about 25-35 minutes.

Sir in the yogurt, cream if using and the paneer. Cook another 10 minutes. Add more water or whey if the mixture seems too dry. Season with salt, to taste.

Serve with rice.

*This seems to taste even better reheated the next day when the flavours have had a chance to blend more.


Torviewtoronto said...

delicious looking palak paneer

smbp said...

This was one of my favorite dishes prior to becoming vegan- i never realized how easy it is to make paneer, wonderful photos too!

Gerlinde in Washington said...

Thanks very much!

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