Nutritious, yummy and easy this Palak Paneer (Cottage cheese in spinach gravy) is a tasty meal yet one you can happily and satisfactorily serve and eat without worrying about calories and nutrition.
But you must be thinking wat’s new in Palak paneer? every household makes it probably. I grew up having palak paneer and I am sure a lot you must have eaten it many times. I can’t assure a better taste than our mommy’s, What I can promise for sure is a gravy that is super smooth and creamy, with subtle flavors and yummy taste.
Its a simple and fuss free recipe, yet much more creamy then the regular palak paneer recipe. Normally the recipe calls for blanching and pureeing spinach, but this one is pretty fuss free. To me the thing that I don’t like about green leafy vegetables is the long prep part i.e. trimming, washing and chopping the veggies. This recipe decreases the hassle a bit. You can just chop of the ends in the bunch wash the spinach well and dunk in the pan, or may be just roughly chop a bit (I normally don’t chop).
This gravy has a nice flavor of spices like cinnamon, cloves, black cardamom and bay leaves. I normally churn the gravy with spices in it, it rally enhances the flavor, but if you don’t want bits and pieces of spices coming in to your mouth while having it (I generally don’t mind it) you may strain the gravy after or take the whole spices out before blending the gravy.
Coming to cottage cheese, some people really like to deep fry cottage cheese before adding to the gravy, if you do too please make sure you be quick while doing that because if you leave paneer in oil for long it might become firm and won’t give you the much nicer soft and creamy texture. By the way I generally don’t fry paneer for my dishes. So lets jump right to the recipe now.
Recipe for Palak Paneer (Cottage cheese in spinach gravy):
Yield: 4 -5 people
Cottage cheese: 300 gms
Tomatoes -2 large
Onion- 1 large
Ginger-2 inch piece
Garlic-4-5 large cloves
Green chilies-4-5 (optional)
Cream: 3 Tbsp (optional)
Black cardamom:2 pods
Cinnamon- 1 inch stick
Cumin seeds-1/4 tbsp
Turmeric: 1/3 Tsp
Coriander powder:1/2 Tsp
Salt: to taste*
Red chili powder: 1/2 tsp
oil -4 Tbsp
Water- 1/4 cup
- Discard hard stems of spinach and wash well.
- Roughly chop Onion, tomatoes, ginger and garlic and keep aside separately.
- In a pan heat 3 Tbsp oil and add cinnamon, black cardamom, cumin seeds and cloves and let it cook for 30 seconds.
- Add ginger and garlic saute for 30 secs and add onions.
- Once the onions are translucent add tomatoes and green chilies.**
- Cook for a minute and add Turmeric and coriander powder. Also add a little salt.
- Cook for another 30 sec and add spinach mix and add 1/2 the amount of water.
- Let the whole thing simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the spinach is cooked and reduced to half.
- Turn off the flame let the mixture cool down a bit and blend well in a blender or using a hand blender in the pot itself.
- Transfer the mixture in the pan again taste for salt and adjust if needed, add water for desired consistency of gravy.
- Dice cottage cheese in to cubes and add to the gravy. Cook only for 2-3 minutes more until the cottage cheese is nice and soft add cream and turn off the flame.
- Transfer in the serving bowl.
- In another small pan heat oil and add red chili powder and turn of the flame. Add the tampering in the serving bowl and serve hot with Roti or rice.
* Spinach doesn’t need as much salt as other vegetables due to its salty nature, make sure you add a little amount of salt initially taste and adjust later if needed.
**If you have kids at home and don’t want to make the gravy hot so you may omit green chilies initially. Once the gravy is complete keep aside some for the kids and adjust the heat in rest of the gravy while tampering .