Saturday, February 9, 2013

Paalak Paneer

Paalak Paneer_North Indian Signature Vegetarian Dish with Homemade Cottage Cheese

Dish Category: Side Dish, Entree

Accompaniment: Indian flat bread, Puri, Steam rice, Paratha, choices are endless

Possible Variations: Tofu, Chicken, Potato

What I like about this dish: Very traditional, favourite at all festivities, great use of greens

  1. Spinach - 1 lb baby spinach, blanched and pureed
  2. Paneer/Cottage Cheese- 7 oz or 200 g
  3. Oil – 3 tbsp
  4. Onions – 2 medium, finely minced
  5. Ginger – 1″ pc, minced
  6. Garlic – 4 cloves, minced
  7. Warm Water – 1/2 cup
  8. Tomatoes – 2 large pureed
  9. Garam Masala - 2 tsp
  10. Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
  11. Coriander Powder – 2 tsp
  12. Red Chili Powder – to taste
  13. Salt - to taste
  14. Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  15. Heavy Whipping Cream – 8 tbsp (optional)
  16. Milk – to taste (optional)
  1. Heat 2 tbsp Oil in a medium non-stick pan on high heat
  2. Once Oil is hot, add in the minced Onions, stir, cover and let it cook until onions are translucent
  3. Add in the Ginger and Garlic and mix. Cook till aromatic
  4. Add in the Tomates, cover and cook till the oil separates from the mixture
  5. Keep stirring frequently as the Masala (Onion, Tomato, Ginger & Garlic mixture) tends to burn very fast. Add a little water if needed
  6. While the Masala is cooking, cube the paneer to desired size…1/2″ cubes work well
  7. In a non-stick frying pan, heat the remaining 1 tbsp Oil
  8. Once Oil is hot, add in the paneer cubes and let them cook till they are golden brown on all sides
  9. Remove from the pan into a plate with paper towel to soak the excess oil
  10. In a couple of minutes, pour the Paneer into a bowl of cold water. Let it sit for 5 minutes
  11. Meanwhile, once the Masala is prepared, add in the pureed Spinach
  12. Mix and add the Garam Masala, Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder, Salt, Chili Powder & Turmeric Powder
  13. Mix well and cook for 3-5 minutes to bring a slight boil
  14. Add in the desired amount of Cream and /or Milk. Mix and cook for another few minutes
  15. Gently squeeze the water out of the Paneer and put the Paneer in the Spinach
  16. Mix gently and simmer for 3 - 5 mins.

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