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Monday, October 18, 2010

Palak Paneer (Spinach Paneer)




























Palak paneer is an Indian vegetable side dish consisting of Spinach and Paneer cheese in a curry sauce. It is a popular vegetarian dish. Palak paneer is one type of saag (greens), which can also be made with mustard leaves. The difference between palak paneer and saag paneer may also be, in some cases, consistency. Palak paneer may be more watery in comparison to saag paneer. If you are making saag Paneer, follow the same recipe except in the end add ½ cup of roasted corn flour to the saag to give it more thicker consistency and different flavor.

** Paneer: Paneer (Hindi: पनीर panīr, from Persian panir) is a fresh cheese common in South Asian cuisine. It is of Indian origin. It is an unaged, acid-set, non-melting farmer cheese or curd cheese made by curdling heated milk with lemon juice or other food acid.

Unlike most cheeses in the world, the making of paneer does not involve rennet as the coagulation agent, thus making it completely lacto-vegetarian and providing a source of protein for vegetarian Hindus.

To prepare paneer at home, food acid (usually lemon juice, vinegar, citric acid or yogurt) is added to hot milk to separate the curds from the whey. The curds are drained in muslin or cheesecloth and the excess water is pressed out. The resulting paneer is dipped in chilled water for 2–3 hours to give it a good texture and appearance.

From this point, the preparation of paneer diverges based on its use and regional variation.

In most cuisines, the curds are wrapped in cloth and placed under a heavy weight, such as a stone slab, for 2–3 hours, and then cut into cubes for use in curries. Pressing for a shorter time (approximately 20 minutes), results in a softer, fluffier cheese which is used in sweet dishes like Rasgulla/Rasmalai etc.





Ingredients:


Two 10 oz pack of spinach

One 8 oz pack of Paneer (available at local Indian grocers)

¼ cup of Kasoori Methi (fresh or dried fenugreek leaves) Optional, however it enhance the flavor of this dish

6 Roma tomatoes

2 yellow onions

4-5 green chilies

6 green onions with greens

8 -10 pods of garlic

1and ½ inch of ginger

4 bay leaves

One 2” stick of cinnamon

4 black cardamom pods

1 teaspoon of black pepper corn

¼ cup of oil

2 teaspoon of cumin seeds

¼ teaspoon of asafetida

1 teaspoon of turmeric powder

2 tbls spoon of coriander powder

2 teaspoon of cumin powder

2 teaspoon of garam masala

½ teaspoon of ground black pepper

Salt to taste

1/3 cup of cream







Method:


• Boil water in large pan.

• Dump washed spinach leaves in boiling water.

• Cook uncovered for 2 min (keep the pan uncovered to preserve green color).

• Drain the leaves and transfer them to blender.

• Add fenugreek leaves to this and blend them to fine paste.

• Keep it aside.

• Grind garlic and ginger in the food processor.

• Keep this paste aside.

• Grind green onions and onions in food processor.

• Keep this paste aside,

• Grind tomatoes in the food processor and keep this paste aside adding chopped green chilies to it.

• Heat oil in pan; add asafetida, cumin seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom pods and peppercorn to heated oil.

• Mix them on heat few seconds.

• Add garlic ginger paste to this and sauté for one min.

• Add onion paste to this and ½ teaspoon of salt to this for onions to cook fast and sauté it until light brown.

• Add tomato and chili mix to this followed by all the spices and cook for about 3 min.

• Now add spinach puree to this and cook uncovered for 2 min.

• Add cubed paneer to this gently toss it in the spinach paste.

• Add salt to taste.

• Do not stir vigorously.

• Cook uncovered for about 3-5 min.

• Lastly add cream.

• Serve hot with Naan or Roti/Chapti or Pita bread.














































Recipe Source my dearest mom Mrs. Kasturben.

Description of Palak paneer from : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palak_paneer.
Description of Paneer from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paneer

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

Popeye image from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1018637/Eating-spinach-really-CAN-Popeyes-strength.html


Photograph by Surekha.

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