Palak Paneer

Our Deepavali Dinner guests loved this dish! Palak Paneer is a spinach and cottage cheese dish – it’s got a building chilli flavour, and is un-apologetically spinach-y – with paneer (indian cottage cheese) dotted through it.

I had to go to the Indian grocery store for the paneer. The store had some pre-packaged paneer from Sydney, but the guy at the store let me know that they actually make their own home made paneer FRESH! Of course, I totally jumped onto that bandwagon, and it was delicious.

Paneer is really interesting, it’s kind of like ricotta meets haloumi. It doesn’t really have a strong flavour, it acts more like a carrier of flavour I think. It’s not as rubbery or salty like haloumi is, and it mostly holds it’s shape unlike ricotta.

This recipe is really easy to make, if you are having it for a dinner party, I would suggest making the dish in the morning, and then just heat it up on the stove just before serving. You could probably make it and keep it for lunches as well, it just might not look as attractive the next day.

Enjoy!

Serves: 6 people

Prep-time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

2 bunches of spinach

250g Cottage Cheese /Paneer

10 Green chilli (it will be quite spicy, so reduce this amount if you are not too keen on chilli)

1 tbsp Ginger, grated

1 tsp Cumin seeds

1 tsp Red chilli powder

1 tsp Turmeric powder

Salt – to taste

Oil – 3 -4 tbs

Instructions

  1. Clean and blanch the spinach, green chilli, and ginger in boiling water. Remove from hot water, keep the spinach in running water for a minute or two and keep aside.
  2. Blitz spinach, ginger, green chilli, and cumin seeds.
  3. In a pan heat 1 tsp of oil and fry paneer until light golden brown (this step is optional, your paneer may stick to the pan, if this happens, do not panic, just fry it off and remove from the pan, you can scrape off the stuck paneer into your spinach mix later).
  4. In the same pan add remaining oil and heat. Add spinach paste and cook for 5 mins.
  5. Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and mix well. If required add 1/4 cup water and simmer for 2-3 mins more.
  6. Add fried paneer and cook for 2 mins with lid on.
  7. It is now ready to serve.

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