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PALAK-PANEER (spinach-cottage cheese curry)



Palak -paneer seems a simple preparation but is a little bit tricky in treatment of Palak (spinach). Some people steam/pressure cook spinach so much that the mild flavour of Spinach is lost. Palak is a very tender green and needs careful handling. This is an important curry known thro' the globe. Having Phudina Paratha /Tawa paratha with Palak- panner is a great satisfaction. I am posting my version of this great curry. Hope you would like it.  

Palak ( spinach ) 2 Bunches
Onions 2 to 3 nos (medium)
Paneer (cottage cheese) 200 gms.  (cut in small cubes)
Tomatoes 2 nos (medium)
Capsicum 1 no.  (small)
Green Chillies 1 or 2 nos.  
Garlic 6 to 7 cloves
Ginger 1" piece
Garam Masala 1 teaspoon
Jeera powder 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder 1/4 teaspoon
Chilli powder 1 teaspoon
Cashewnuts paste 1/4 cup (3 tablespoons)
Thick cream 1/4 cup
Lemon Juice from 1/4 lemon
Ghee for frying 1/2 cup
Salt to taste

Cinnamon sticks 1" 3 to 4 pieces
Cardamoms 3 to 4 nos
Cloves 2 nos
Jeera 1/2 teaspoon
Oil/Ghee 2 spoons




Blanch Palak in boiling water . Keep for 10 minutes . Ensure that it becomes soft. Better still is pressure cook in a cooker for only one whistle.  When cold, churn 3/4 th of Palak in a blender to get fine homogenous paste. Roughly mash the remaining palak and add it to the paste and set aside.  Make paste of cashew in a blender/mixi and set aside. Keep heavy cream also in a cup.  Make paste of onions. Slice green chillies . Make paste of ginger Capsicum and garlic and set aside. Similarly make puree of raw tomatoes in a blender and set aside. You can use readymade puree also.  
Take Ghee in a kadai and saute cubes of Paneer till they are golden yellow/brown.  Set aside.  
Remove excess ghee after retaining two tbsp in the kadai. Add the temperings to it . Set the flame on sim. When cloves start puffing , first add onion paste and sliced green chillies and fry it till golden brown and it sheds raw smell.  Now add Ginger Garlic and Capsicum paste and fry for about 2 to 3 minutes only. Add blended tomato puree and fry for further three minutes. Now add paste of Palak (spinach) and a little water. Let it simmer for three to four minutes. Now slowly add cashew paste and a little water and stir briskly while heating it on medium flame. There will be a beautiful green gravy now.  Add garam masala, Jeera powder and chilli powder . After half a minute add fried cubes of Paneer.  If you want, add a teaspoon of lemon juice at the end.  Give a final boil for a minute or two. Taste for salt and other spices now.  
Paneer - palak is ready to be served after 30 minutes.  
After 30 minutes, reheat the curry , put it in a bowl and add a quarter spoon of Cream in each bowl and serve steaming hot with Phudina paratha or plain paratha or rotis.  
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