Friday, 8 June 2007

Palak Paneer

My e friend Kate asked for a recipe of Palak Paneer which is a very popular dish in India.It is made with cottage cheese and spinach.
PALAK PANEER

Spinach.....2 large bunches (abt. a pound)
Cottage cheese (paneer)...half a pound (200gms)
Garlic 8-10 cloves (if you don 't like garlic you can reduce the amount)
Cooking oil.....3 tablespoons
Cumin seeds....half teaspoon
Salt as per taste
Lemon juice....one tablespoon
Fresh cream.....Four tablespoons

Method of Preparation
1 Remove stems and wash spinach under running water.Blanch it in salted boiling water for 2 minutes.Refresh in chilled water.Squeeze out excess water.Grind into a fine paste in a food processor.If you are using tinned spinach you can prepare it likewise.
2. Dice paneer into 1"x1"x 1/2" pieces. Chop garlic and keep aside.If you want you can deep fry the paneer pieces until they are golden brown like I do, to give colour and added taste.
3 Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds. When they begin to change colour add chopped garlic and saute for half a minute. Add the spinach puree and stir.Check seasoning. Add water if required.
4 When the gravy comes to a boil, add the paneer pieces and mix well. Stir in lemon juice. Finally add fresh cream.
5 Serve hot with rice, or Indian nan bread, or any type of bread, even pita will do.
Paneer is available in Indian shops but if there are none around you can make it at home (or substitute it with a non melting cheese)
HOW TO MAKE PANEER
Milk....1 litre
Lemon...1
Plain unflavoured yogurt or curd...3 tablespoons

1 Heat milk when it begins to boil add lemon juice.
2 If you want to make the cheese softer,add 2 or 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt to the boiling milk along with the lemon juice.
3 Remove from fire when cheese separates from the whey.
4 Put the cheese in a muslin cloth and hang it up for an hour till all the whey is drained out. I save the whey to use in soups or any gravy dish.
5 Put the cheese on a chopping board and put some weight on it.
6 When it sets cut in small pieces as desired.
Paneer is low fat and we like it a lot. You can cook it with green peas, tomatoes, bell peppers, baby corn, mushroom etc. Or pop it in rice. I make pizza topping with it. In fact for Sunday dinner I am going to make paneer Chinese style with bell pepper, onions and tomatoes and seasoning it will go well with pea pulao (fried rice)

7 Fertilize my soul:

Kate said...

Wow! Thanks, Amrita!

I will pass it on to my friend Diane. She'll be so happy. You're great!

Diane said...

Thanks Amrita! Kate came through! I'll let you know when I make it. I've seen a few recipes but wanted something authentic. I have a lot of Indian students at my job at a university here but I don't think they have time to cook so I didn't ask them!

Rebecca said...

I am going to save my money to come for a real Indian dinner..inbetween all of my other travels

Margie said...

that sounds super yummy!

Amrita said...

Oh Yes Rebecca, you are very welcome. That will be real fun!

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