Recipe Palak Paneer (Spinach with Paneer)

Morning Glory

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Mild, creamy and comforting, this Indian style dish is packed with healthy green goodness. Please note that this isn't a traditional recipe but of my own devising after trial and error. Its important to use bright green baby spinach leaves here to achieve the vibrant colour. You can use the stalks too, as long as they are not too fibrous. A vegan version can be made by substituting tofu for the paneer and using a soy based yoghurt. Serve this as one of a section of Indian dishes or on its own with some pickle and a flatbread.

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Ingredients (serves 2 to 3)
200g baby spinach leaves (I used ready washed)
200ml milk (I used plant milk)
200g Paneer cut into cubes
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp ginger/garlic paste
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp white pepper
2 tbsp plain yoghurt
Chilli flakes and sesame seeds to sprinkle

Method
  1. Wash and dry the spinach leaves. Place the milk in a blender and gradually add the spinach leaves, one small handful at a time, blending as you go. I used a stick blender. Continue blending until you have a smooth bright green purée. You should have approximately 300 ml of purée. Set aside. The purée will keep in the fridge for several days.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan and fry the paneer cubes until golden. Remove and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining vegetable oil in a pan and add the onion. Fry gently for several minutes until softened and translucent. Add the ginger/garlic paste and the spices. Fry very gently for a few minutes.
  4. Add the spinach purée and yoghurt and mix well. At this stage you can blend the mixture again if you wish, for a smoother sauce.
  5. Add the paneer cubes to the sauce and cook very gently for 5 minutes until everything is heated through.
  6. Serve sprinkled with crushed chillies, sesame seeds and serve with pickled red onion and flatbread.

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SatNavSaysStraightOn

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I have to say that I really like the looks of this dish. But I suspect I'd need to double the ground spices for our tastes. I have been looking at a vegan paneer recipe quite recently and with hubby away from home next week. I may get chance to experiment. I also suspect that this dish would work really well with Burmese Tofu (Chickpea flour tofu).
 

Morning Glory

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But I suspect I'd need to double the ground spices for our tastes
I tried this with more spices - I had at least 5 attempts (!) at making the perfect 'palak' using different techniques for cooking and varying spices. In the end I left chilli out, for example (other than sprinkled flakes). This was the best balance in my view. You you could use more spice but this is meant to be a mild subtle comfort dish and too much spice masks the creamy spinach taste. Think of Eggs Florentine.
 
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