Diet & Nutrition 7 MIN READ 33 VIEWS June 22, 2022

Easy Palak Paneer Recipe for You to Try

Written By HealthKart

Palak Paneer Recipe
Palak Paneer Ingredients
Method
Restaurant-Style Palak Paneer Ingredients
Restaurant-Style Palak Paneer Method
Tips to Enhance the Taste
Serving Ideas
Nutritional Content in Palak Paneer
Frequently Asked Questions

Palak Paneer is an Indian vegetarian meal made with paneer and a smooth, creamy, and delectable spinach gravy. This dish is simply rich, flavourful, and tastes better than anything you’d have in a restaurant. It goes well with parathas, butter naans, jeera rice, or simple basmati rice. With a step-by-step Palak Paneer recipe you can easily have a delectable dish ready on your plate.

Recipe NamePalak Paneer
Place of OriginNorth India
Total Time Taken30 minutes
Preparation Time10 minutes

Palak Paneer Ingredients

  1. 1 large bunch or 4 cups chopped Spinach 
  2. 3/4 cup Paneer (cubed into pieces)
  3. 1-2 Green Chillies
  4. 1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seeds, optional
  5. 1 large onion, finely chopped
  6. 1 teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste
  7. 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
  8. 1/2 teaspoon Kasuri Methi
  9. 2 tablespoons fresh cream
  10. 1/3 cup water
  11. 2 tablespoons oil + 1 tablespoon butter
  12. Salt to taste

Method

Step 1: Wash spinach in water to remove any dirt or impurities. Blanch the spinach for 2 minutes in salted water.

Step 2: Using a large perforated spoon or a sieve, drain it.

Step 3: Immediately place drained spinach into cold water and keep for a minute.

Step 4: Remove any extra water from the blanched spinach and place it in the medium jar of a mixer grinder. Add green chilies and purée until smooth. If necessary, a few tablespoons of water can be added while grinding.

Step 5: In a nonstick pan or kadai, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Shallow fry the paneer cubes until the sides are light brown. Place them on a platter and set them aside. Excess ghee or oil can be removed by blotting it with an absorbent kitchen paper napkin.

Step 6: In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Sauté the cumin seeds for 30 seconds. (If you don’t like cumin seeds, leave them out.) Stir in the finely chopped onion until it becomes transparent. Stir in the ginger-garlic paste for 30 seconds.

Step 7:  Add salt and spinach puree. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in 1/3 cup of water. Mix thoroughly and bring it to a boil. In between, stir occasionally.

Step 8: When the gravy comes to a boil, add shallow fried paneer cubes and cook for 3-4 minutes. 

Step 9: Mix in the lemon juice and Kasuri methi. Turn off the heat and combine the milk and cream. 

Step 10: Serve with tandoori roti, kulcha, or butter naan in a serving bowl.

Restaurant-Style Palak Paneer Ingredients

For spinach puree:

  1. 250 grams spinach 
  2. 3 cups hot boiling water for blanching
  3. 2 cups water for ice bath
  4. 8 to 10 ice cubes

For pan-frying paneer:

  1. 250 grams paneer 
  2. 3 tablespoons oil

For spinach sauce:

  1. 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  2. 2 small tej patta 
  3. 1 medium-sized onion
  4. 1 teaspoon ginger paste 
  5. 1 teaspoon garlic paste 
  6. 1 finely chopped green chilies 
  7. 1 pinch turmeric powder 
  8. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  9. 1 teaspoon dry fenugreek leaves (kasturi methi) 
  10. 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  11. 1/4 cup low-fat cream 
  12. 1 pinch of sugar
  13. salt as required

Restaurant-Style Palak Paneer Method

Step 1: Rinse 250 g spinach leaves thoroughly under running water. Place them in a colander to drain the excess water after they have been rinsed. Keep the stems if they are delicate. However, if they are hard or fibrous, throw them away.

Step 2: In a saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. You can also boil water in a pan or bowl using an electric heater.

Step 3: Add the spinach leaves in the water. Mix well and immerse the leaves in the water. Blanch the spinach leaves for 3 minutes in boiling water.

Step 4: While the spinach leaves are blanching, combine 2 cups of water and 8 to 10 ice cubes in a separate bowl.

Step 5: Remove the blanched spinach leaves from the boiling water and place them in the cold water after 3 minutes. Gently stir until all of the leaves are soaked in cold water. After 1 minute, remove them using pasta tongs or drain all the water with a strainer/colander.

Step 6: Place the spinach leaves in a grinder or blender jar. Blend or grind until smooth. There is no need to add water during grinding or blending. You can alternatively mix the blanched spinach leaves to a coarser puree if you like.

Step 7: This step is optional, but highly recommended because lightly golden pan-fried paneer cubes are delicious. In a well-seasoned or nonstick pan, heat 3 tablespoons oil. Set the paneer cubes aside (250 grams). When one side is lightly golden, flip it over and fry the other side.

Step 8: Fry the paneer cubes until they are evenly light brown. Avoid frying too much or for a longer time, as then the paneer cubes become dense. Remove the cooked paneer cubes and drain them on kitchen paper towels.

Step 9: Keep the paneer in the water right away to soften it even more. Allow the paneer to soak for 3 to 4 minutes. Then gently squeeze them and set them aside.

Step 10: Add the following spices to the same oil in which we pan-fried the paneer: 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds and 2 small tej patta or 1 medium to big tej patta (Indian bay leaf). Fry until the cumin begins to sputter. Then stir in 1/3 cup finely chopped onions. Stir thoroughly. On medium-low to medium heat, sauté the onions until they turn light yellow.

Step 11: Then add 1 teaspoon ginger paste, 1 teaspoon garlic paste, and 1 to 1.5 teaspoon finely chopped green chilies. You can also add   1 teaspoon green chili paste instead of chopped green chilies. Instead of green chilies, 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder can be used.

Step 12: Stir and cook until the raw ginger-garlic aroma diminishes.

Step 13: Add the ground spices and herbs now:

1 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoons black pepper, optionally smashed with a mortar and pestle

1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (Kasuri methi) — smash the dried fenugreek leaves between your palms and add to the sautéed onions

Step 14: Mix thoroughly. Mix in the spinach puree. According to your taste, season with salt. Add a pinch of sugar to taste. Mix and stir.

Step 15: Simmer the gravy on low to medium heat for 6 to 7 minutes, or until it thickens slightly. If the consistency appears to be too thick, add a splash of water. Simmer for a few minutes after mixing.

Step 16: 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder and 1/4 cup light cream or low-fat cream (or 2 to 3 tablespoons whipped cream). Stir to get a uniform mixture. The cream should be well combined with the palak sauce or gravy. Then turn off the heat.

Step 17: Mix in the paneer cubes. Combine them with the leftover gravy. Set aside and cover the pan.

Step 18: Using tongs, light a small piece of natural charcoal on a stovetop. Place a small fire rack or a grill pan on top. Place the charcoal on top of the rack. Using a pair of heat-resistant metal tongs, slowly burn the charcoal until it is red hot.

Step 19: Place a small dish or several onion layers in the gravy now. On top, place the charcoal. On the charcoal, pour 1/2 teaspoon oil. Before pouring in the oil, you can also place 1 clove or 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds on the charcoal. The charcoal will generate smoke as soon as you pour oil on it.

Step 20: As soon as the smoke appears, cover the pan tightly with a lid. Cover the pan for a minute to allow the smoky scent and flavour of the charcoal to permeate the meal. Add 1/4 teaspoon dry mango powder or a few drops of lemon or lime juice before pouring for a mild tang.

Step 21: Serve with tandoori roti, naan, chapati, paratha, cumin rice, or saffron rice from a restaurant. Steamed rice goes well with the lightly flavoured spinach sauce or gravy.

Step 22: While serving, top the palak paneer with butter, cream, or shredded paneer. When serving, pour a few drops of lime or lemon juice on top, along with a few ginger julienne.

Tips to Enhance the Taste

  1. When making palak paneer, spinach is always blanched before being pureed. However, if you want to make the best palak paneer, skip the blanching step.
  2. To get the best color, keep the garam masala to a minimum in this recipe, and avoid overcooking the spinach, which darkens the dish.
  3. To make palak paneer gravy a slightly creamy texture, add cashews. Blanched almonds can also be used.
  4. As a key ingredient, use high-quality paneer. If you’re using frozen store-bought paneer, soak it in warm water for 15-20 minutes. Drain and use. This aids in keeping it soft.
  5. If you add the milk cream before turning off the heat, it may curdle.

Serving Ideas

Apart from serving wonderful Punjabi palak paneer gravy with various Indian bread like plain paratha, butter naan, and lachha paratha, it may also be relished with steaming rice or jeera rice and boondi raita.

Nutritional Content in Palak Paneer

Calories234 kcal
Fats17g
Carbs9g
Protein11g

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is the source of the bitter flavour in my Palak Paneer?

It appears that you skipped the blanching stage. Raw spinach leaves contain a lot of oxalic acid, which gives them a bitter taste. Blanching your spinach leaves (briefly heating them in hot water) removes the oxalic acid, which not only improves the taste of the spinach but also makes the nutrients more available to your body.If the spinach still tastes bitter after blanching, consider adding a tablespoon or two of 35-50 percent cream. The fat content will help to mitigate the bitter flavour.

Q2. Is it possible to freeze palak paneer?

Freezing palak paneer because it would lose its soft texture when reheated. Palak paneer (and all dishes) are therefore best eaten when they are newly cooked and hot or warm.

Q3. Why is the stringiness in my palak paneer gravy?

Spinach stems become fibrous as they age and grow in size. Before blanching, make careful to remove any thick stems. You can also use baby spinach leaves instead, which are exceptionally soft and do not require stem removal.

Q4. How long should the paneer be cooked?

Paneer takes about 10 minutes to completely cook on medium heat. Yes, it does not require as much cooking time as veggies or meats.

Q5. Why does paneer get tough after cooking?

If you cook it on a high heat for an extended period of time, it will lose its softness and become hard and rubbery. For those who are unaware, it just takes 5-10 minutes to thoroughly cook Paneer. If you cook it for any longer than this time, it will begin to lose its texture.

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