Palak Paneer (Spinach with Cottage Cheese)

The best palak paneer I have had is from a restaurant called Moti Mahal, not far from where we grew up in Delhi. I had to try a few times before I developed this version that is quite close to the taste I remember from my childhood.

Ingredients

Spinach leaves 1/2 kg, washed, steamed and puréed

Onion 1 medium, sliced fine

Garlic 6 cloves, sliced in half

Ginger 1” piece, julienned

Tomato 1 medium, sliced fine

Red chilli powder 1/2 tsp

Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

Coriander powder 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

Water 3 cups

Paneer or cottage cheese 200 g, cut into cubes

Oil 4 tbsp

Method

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan and fry the paneer cubes till they turn a light crispy brown. Take them out with a slotted spoon and keep aside.

Add onion slices to the same oil and fry till they turn golden and translucent. Scrape the paneer bits as you fry the onions.

Add the puréed spinach and stir well.

Add the water, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder.

Add the garlic. Use the smaller Indian garlic instead of the plumper Chinese ones. They have more flavour.

Add the tomato slices.

Reduce the heat and cook covered for 20 minutes.

Add the fried paneer cubes and continue to cook till the gravy thickens.

Garnish with the julienned ginger and serve hot with rice, naan, puris or paranthas.

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