Let me introduce you to Mr. Palak Paneer, a North Indian cuisine dish where Paneer (Indian farmer’s cheese) is immersed in a thick curry sauce based on pureed spinach with garlic ginger and garam masala.
Guess what does Palak mean? Yeah, spinach.
Palak Paneer is a type of saag (leaf-based dish made from spinach in addition to mustard leaves, finely chopped broccoli or other greens) which is slightly more watery than other plant-based curries.
While I devour this dish with my hungry eyes (yes, hungry eyes, why not?) I can’t help but think of the mess my latest post has spurred. Tons of emails have clogged my inbox after I told you about my unemployment status.
No. Just joking. I’ve only got a call from my worried mum. Which, to tell the truth, has the same effect of 300 calls concentrated in an hour. A long call from an Italian extra caring and worried mum… Can you feel my pain?
Allow me to use this post to reassure my mum. Mum, as you can see from these pictures here I can still eat. And I can still feel lucky, like the luckiest girl in the world, actually. As The Boss (Bruce S.) would say (=sing) I’m working on a dream. “Now the cards I’ve drawn’s a rough hand, darling. I straighten the back and I’m working on a dream”.
p.s. For an extra kick of flavor you can fry the Paneer cubes before adding them to the spinach sauce. To make a vegan Palak curry substitute Paneer with tofu and cream with coconut milk.
- 200 gr baby leaves spinach (4 cups chopped Spinach
- 200 gr paneer cubed
- 3-4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 green chilly crushed
- 2 teaspoons ginger finely chopped
- 1½ tbsp chopped garlic
- 1 tbsp garam masala powder
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 4 tbsp double cream
- 1 tbsp dry fenugreek leaves
- a pinch of turmeric to add color, optional
- Wash the spinach, making sure to clean it thoroughly.
- Blanch the spinach in hot water for three minutes or until wilted. Drain into a colander and run cold water over it. In a food processor or blender, blend spinach to a smooth paste and set aside. (I haven't blended all the spinach since I like my curry to be thicker. Keep a bunch of spinach aside and add it at the end to the sauce if you want a thick palak paneer)
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan. Add the cumin and fry for about 30 seconds, until fragrant, and fry over a low heat for about 3 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic and chillies and cook for a further minute.
- Add the ground coriander and salt to taste. Cook for another 30 seconds then add the spinach and a splash of water if necessary. The mixture should be loose but not watery. Bring to a boil and then simmer for three minutes.
- Add the paneer cubes, garam masala, turmeric (optional) and cream. Stir and cook for a few minutes or until the spinach is nice and creamy. Serve with long grain rice or naan bread.