Saturday, November 06, 2010

Palak Paneer - evenings at home...

Ever since JR has come home from San Francisco we have made an effort to have a home made sit down dinner together every weeknight. Dinner usually is with candles - but always with wine.

When 7:00 comes around I put away my homework, clear my crafting off the table, and we spend the next hour and a half cooking, eating, and talking. Dinner, at our house, is served around 8:00 or 8:30 - we eat late by American standards.

Kitchen TimeKitchen Time

Palak Paneer, the classic Indian Cheese and Spinach recipe, is one of JR's Favorites to make and eat, so it makes sense to include it here for you to try! There are hundreds of variations of this recipe but this is roughly how I make it. I never measure, so it's not exact, but trust your taste buds and add the Garam Masala at the very end and you'll be fine.


- 1 Package (two cups) paneer
- Ghee for frying
- 2 bunches of spinach - washed and torn roughly into bits
- 1/2 tblsp cumin seeds
- 1 Large Onion, finely chopped
- One Jalapeno Pepper, finely chopped, seeds removed
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1" piece of ginger, grated
- Turmeric (about 1/2 tsp)
- Ground Cumin (about 1 tblsp)
- Garam Masala to Taste (about 1/4 tsp for us...)
- 1 tiny can of tomato paste (here's a secret - I use the "Italian seasoning" variety in my Palak Paneer for added zing. One time I had no regular left in my cupboard and I used the Italian seasoning type and my Palak Paneer tasted awesome...I've been using that type ever since for this particular dish.)

Part 1: Prep the Paneer
- Cut the Paneer into cubes
- Put Ghee into a frying pan, and throw in the paneer cubes. Let them brown, flipping occasionally while you start the sauce.

Part 2: Wilt the Spinach
- Throw the washed, torn spinach into a sauce pot, and let it wilt - you will need to stir occasionally.
- When it is finished put all wilted place the spinach into a blender and puree.
- Set aside...

Part 3: Make the Sauce
- Put a tablespoon or two of Ghee into a frying pan - I prefer cast iron for this, but you can use anything you like...
- Throw in a half a tablespoon of the Cumin seeds and when they start to crackle add the chopped onion, garlic, ginger, and Jalapeno. Fry until the onion is translucent.
- Add the Turmeric and ground Cumin and fry to "open up the spices" a little bit - it should smell fragrant and spicy!
- Add the pureed spinach and can of tomato paste to the onions + spices and stir.
- When that is simmering nicely on the stove, add the garam masala and give it a taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.

We often eat this over rice, but you can have it with home made nan or just by it's self!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, you actually make this dish from scratch. Too impressive. Totally love all Indian vegetarian food.