What is palak paneer?
Palak Paneer dhaba style or Cottage cheese in spinach sauce is the easiest recipe of the whole world. This Indian spinach dish is a signature curry of many households. I love Punjabi vegetarian cuisine for the way it uses its ingredients to get the proteins. Although most people associate Punjabi cuisine with butter chicken and tandoori chicken, the rustic Punjabi household in villages uses its greens very well. Whether it is Sarson ka saag or Saag paneer, they ensure greens and ghee both reach your tummy. Dishes are pretty simple when you begin cooking them at home. All you need is some blanched greens, onion tomato puree and some cottage cheese. This green paneer recipe is one of the most famous recipes along with hariyali paneer tikka.
Voila! you have the magic wand!
This simple dish can rock your party. You also charm your kids into eating the absolute necessary greens. Paneer curry is an easy way to obtain protein too. Spinach recipes are always easy to cook. You can make a spinach pilaf or paratha. Use it as a base to make undhiyu , sata bhajiyun or make a lentil Sai bhaji with it. You can make a simple spinach soup or blueberry spinach smoothie.
What makes this recipe so healthy?
- Greens ensure no hemoglobin deficiency, anemia and color blindness.
- Pregnant women and those who need immunity to fight all the ailments can enjoy.
- Spinach is also great for digestion.
- Cottage cheese is a rich source of protein and calcium. It also Improves metabolism.
- It is rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
- Great for diabetics, cancer prevention and reduces risk of heart diseases.
What is the difference between Saag paneer and Palak Paneer?
Palak Paneer curry is made with blanched spinach or palak while Saag is a mixture of greens. We use greens like amaranth, fenugreek, other local leafy greens. You can blanch them in a similar fashion like good old spinach. However the taste may be little bitter
Which milk is good for making paneer at home?
You can buy it easily from market or any local dairy. These days even Costco sells Paneer. However, if you want to make it at home. You will need full fat or full cream milk. You may also make it easily using this link. Only you need to strain the homemade one so that you can remove excess water. Set it into blocks by placing a heavy vessel on top. Freeze it in freezer for longer duration or just in chill tray if consuming within a day or 2.Best make it before hand on a Friday night. Enjoy it over the weekend or mid week.
What can we eat with Palak paneer?
Punjabi Palak Paneer is best served with Naan or Tandoori roti for a party. For a weekly dinner ,even boiled rice and plain roti does fine. Make the spinach curry Vegan ,by using tofu.
How to make restaurant style palak paneer?
1. Saute paneer cubes, keep aside.
2. Heat water in a pan, add fresh spinach leave, leave it for 5 minutes
3.Drain the excess water,allow it to cool,puree it and keep it aside.
4. Heat oil,add cumin seeds,cook Onion with ginger & chillies until pink.
5. Add tomatoes with some salt,let it cook
6. Add spices,mix well, let it cook. If you like eat really spicy, add some green chilly to the tempering.
7. Cook until the oil oozes out
8. Add the spinach/palak puree
9. Add water,let is come to boil ,add paneer pieces, let it cook until the gravy thickens
Read the recipe of Palak paneer
- 1 large bunch 250 gm of Spinach leaves
- 1 onion medium size
- 2 tsp ginger paste
- 2-3 to tomatoes diced
- 400 grams cottage cheese
- 5-6 tbsp ghee/ clarified butter or oil
- 2 tbsp curd or yogurt
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp red chilli powder increase if you like it extra spicy
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 2-3 green chillies optional
- salt as per taste
For the cottage cheese:
- Cut the cottage cheese into small cubes.
- You may fry/saute them slightly in 2-3 tbsp oil.
- Keep it aside.
For the spinach sauce:
- Blanch the spinach and greens(if using amaranth and fenugreek)
- Blend the spinach coarsely using a stick blender/mixer.
- Optionally ,heat 2-3 tbsp. ghee in a pan, cook the spinach puree in the pan for 5-10 minutes or until it starts boiling,keep it aside.
- Heat a pan and add ghee/oil to it.
- Add cumin seeds,green chillies, ginger paste to it and saute.
- Now add the onions and saute' till they turn pink.
- Add tomatoes and stir 2-3 times until they soften.
- Add the spices and let it cook for 5mins.(you may choose to turn off the gas,let the mix cool down and puree it).
- Add spinach sauce to the tomato/onion mix and let it come to a boil.
- Add 2 cups of water and let it boil.
- Now, add fried cottage cheese to this puree and let it simmer for 5-6 minutes or gravy thickens.
- Serve hot with 'Jeera' rice/steamed rice or 'tandoori Roti'/Indian flat bread
Do not add onions and garlic to the recipe to make Jain 'palak paneer' .
Heat ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds, pureed tomatoes before proceeding with spinach puree.
You can also use 2 bunches of spinach instead of Amaranth leaves if they are not available easily.
Replace paneer with tofu and ghee with oil to make it vegan.
Want to see more paneer recipes?
- Paneer bhurji
- Quick Matar paneer
- Paneer butter masala
- Use left over pickle masala for yummy achari paneer
Click here for additional paneer recipes.
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