When I had visited my Mom recently, my cousin P had come down for lunch. She is in her final term of pregnancy and loves to eat Paneer. I remember an old incident, it was during my college days and I was visiting P's place. We all had gone for dinner to a restaurant and had ordered this dish . She ate all the Palak and had kept the Paneer pieces aside. I asked her why are you not eating it ? She said, I will eat all of them together at the end. To her disappointment, while she was talking to us, the waiter cleared her plate with all her favorite Paneer going into trash.
So, this time when she came home for lunch, I decided to cook her favorite dish. To my satisfaction she liked the preparation and also helped me click the pictures.
I dedicate this recipe to all the Paneer lovers (which also includes me).
A large bunch of Palak (spinach)
150 gms Paneer
2 onions (chopped finely)
2-3 green chillies (chopped finely)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 -2 tsp lemon juice (as per your liking)
3-4 garlic pods (crushed)
1 -1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
butter+oil for cooking
1 tsp ghee
- Pluck the leaves of Palak( do not use stem).Wash them properly.
- Boil water in a vessel, add a pinch of salt and baking soda, this helps keep the colour green .When the water start boiling put the leaves for 20seconds, remove and immediately put it in cold water. (This stops the process of cooking).
- Puree the blanched leaves.
- Heat a mix of butter and oil and add chopped onions and cook till light brown in colour, now add garlic .
- Add chilli powder, coriander powder and salt, mix properly. (Add a little less of salt as Spinach has natural salts in it). Take oil to the corner of the pan, tilt the pan and sprinkle some water, the pan will catch fire for a few seconds, this produces the 'Smoky Flavor' that one gets in Dhaba cooking.
- Add the Paneer and gently mix and coat it with all the spices. Cook for a min.
- Now add the pureed Spinach and bring it to a boil and switch off the flame. Do not overcook as the gravy loses it's natural green colour. Add lemon juice and mix.
- Heat ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds, let it splutter and then add green chillies, immediately pour it on the Palak Paneer.
- Serve with Naan/Paratha/Jeera Rice