Spinach, or Palak, has always been one of my go to vegetables when all else fails. Not only is it tasty, but you can pretty much flavor it up, spice it up, blend it up, fry it up, etc. how ever you please and it will taste good!
Palak Paneer is a North Indian vegetarian dish. It is one of those dishes that almost every Indian person has had, and pretty much every Indian restaurant serves. It’s an Indian style creamed spinach curry with pieces of Paneer, or curd cheese, in it. Sometimes the cheese is lightly fried so you have a bit of a golden-brown color to it, and other times, the cubes are added straight into the curry. Both ways are delicious in this curry and Palak Paneer, itself, is a really amazing dish!
If you’ve never had it before, you are in for a treat! Hot garlic naan or buttered wheat rotli with Palak Paneer is so good! The spinach is cooked in a spicy tomato, garlic, ginger and chili gravy and then it is blended down till its creamy. After this, cubes of the Paneer are added into it and they absorb all the flavors of the spinach and spices, so every bite is full on flavor!
Check out my recipe for Palak Paneer. I hope you will try making this dish because it is going to be a quick favorite after one bite!
PALAK PANEER (Indian Creamed Spinach with Curd Cheese)
- 16oz to 20oz. of fresh spinach (2-2.5 bags)
- 2 large tomatoes (diced small)
- 1 large onion (diced small)
- 1 or 2 jalapenos (diced small) (keep seeds and add more if desired)
- 2 Tbsp. ginger paste (or fresh ginger)
- 1 Tbsp. garlic paste (or fresh garlic)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (roughly chopped)
- Ground Spice Mix:
- 1-inch stick of cinnamon
- 8 cardamom pods
- 8 fresh cloves
- 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
- 1 Tbsp. cumin seeds
- 8 peppercorns (optional)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil + oil for frying paneer
- ½ cup heavy cream (whipped till creamy)
- 1 to 1.5 cup paneer cubes (curd cheese)
- 1 to 1.5 tsp salt (add more for taste)
- 1 to 2 tsp. garam masala
- In a coffee or spice blender, grind all ingredients for the Spice Mix. Set aside.
- In a wok or deep skillet, add enough oil to fry up the cubes of paneer till light golden brown. Set aside on napkin covered plate.
- In a medium size pot, heat oil and add when hot, add in the ground spices mix. Heat till all items sizzle (about 2-3 mins) and spices become a dark brown color.
- Add in diced veggies, ginger, garlic, salt, garam masala.
- Mix well till fully incorporated and then cover pot and let simmer for about 10 minutes on medium heat.
- After simmered, lower heat and add spinach (mix in well with the curry sauce, then cover again and let simmer on medium heat about 10-15 minutes or until spinach wilts completely in pot. (Should look like ½ of pot is full)
- Once wilted, mix your curry well until all sauce and spinach is blended together and let it cook 5 more minutes.
- Once cooked, use a hand blender to cream your spinach mixture until smooth and pasty
- Once completely creamed, add your fried paneer cubes (curd cheese) and mix with spinach curry.
- While curry is simmering, whip the heavy cream till thick and creamy – still a thick liquid consistency. (Do not whip into stiff peaks.)
- Gently mix the thickened heavy cream into curry and turn off heat, cover pot and let stand for about 5-7 minutes before eating.
- Transfer to serving plate, garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and eat while hot with Indian breads and/or rice.
NOTE: Make sure most of the liquid is cooked out prior to creaming the spinach. This will allow for a thicker and creamy texture after heavy cream is added.
Let me know your thoughts on this recipe by leaving a comment below or tag me with your Palak Paneer pics on IG @cmspiceculture.