Friday, August 26, 2011

Palak-Paneer (Spinach with Cottage Cheese)

250 g Paneer (Cottage Cheese), cut into small cubes.
Spinach 1 Box (I prefer Organic Baby Spinach)
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi) 
½ tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp coriander powder
¼ tsp garam masala 
2 tbsp oil 
salt to taste

Finely chop the following or make paste.
2 Small Onions
2 cloves garlic
(½") piece ginger
2 green chillies

Spinach purée:
Blanch the spinach with some salt and little water in a pan. Let it cool down and then blend it to smooth purée. Don’t throw away the excess water. Save it to use later for cooking.

Paneer Pieces:

Cut the Paneer (cottage cheese) into small pieces. Instead of deep frying paneer pieces, I bake them in Oven. Pre heat Oven to 300F, and bake paneer till all the pieces turn golden brown.

 Before                                                              After Baking       

Cooking Steps:
  1. Heat the oil or butter in a pan. 
  2. Add cumin seeds.
  3. Add the chopped onions and some salt. Fry them till they turn translucent.
  4. Add the garlic, ginger, green chillies paste and fry again for a little time.
  5. Once this paste stops sticking to the pan, add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, Coriander Powder and fry for 1 min. approx.
  6. Add the spinach purée and 1 cup of water and bring it to boil. Use the excess water from blanching spinach.
  7. Add baked paneer pieces. And cook for 2-3 mins.Add garam masala.

               Serve hot with Chapatti or Jeera Rice. I like it with a hint of lemon juice.