Palak Paneer is a dish I have relished since childhood, as I love Palak and Paneer both. This dish is popular in North India and is one of the most popular Paneer dishes. It is usually served with Roti, Parathas, and other Indian Bread. It goes really well with Plain Rice, Jeera rice and Pulav too. In this dish, the Palak is pureed and made into a thick gravy with spices and the Paneer pieces are cooked in it. This dish is a great way to add Palak to your diet.
Spinach/Palak is loaded with Iron and fibre and the Paneer is rich in proteins and so this makes it a healthy recipe.
Well, there are loads of Palak Paneer recipes that recommend using cashewnuts or cream for a thicker or creamier gravy, I feel that this makes the dish heavy. Palak by itself when pureed after blanching has volume, plus the onions and tomatoes sauteed and ground also adds body to the dish, so adding cashew paste or cream is not absolutely necessary, though if one likes the taste of it, then no harm in adding them too. That said it does not make much of a difference to the dish. I usually use the cream only as a garnish, that too around 1 tsp.
Here is the recipe of Palak paneer for you—
PREP TIME: 15 Mins COOK TIME: 25 Mins
TOTAL TIME: 40Mins COURSE: MAIN
CUISINE: NORTH INDIAN SERVINGS: 4
AUTHOR: Rajni Ram
Palak 1 bunch
Paneer 200 gm
Onion 1 large or 2 small
Green chillies 2
Tomato 2 large to medium size
Ginger- garlic paste 1 tsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Salt as required
Garam masala powder 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder 2 tsp
Fennel Powder 1 tsp
red chilli powder 1 ts
Oil for sauteeing
Chop the Palak roughly and blanch them, I usually put them in the microwave for 2 mins. Alternately just put them in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain the water and pour cold water over the Palak, this helps in keeping the green colour intact. Puree the Palak and keep ready.
Now in a karahi pour some oil and heat. Add 2 cloves followed by Cumin seeds and drop in the chopped onions. Saute for a minute, add the green chillies and continue to saute for 30 seconds, finally add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes turn mushy. Cool them. Now blend the onion-tomato mixture to a puree. In the same karahi take another 2 tsp of oil and heat. Add the cumin seeds followed by turmeric powder and pour the onion-tomato mixture. Fry it nicely in the oil, now add the Palak puree and stir. Cook for about 3 minutes on medium flame and add salt, followed by coriander powder, red chilli powder, fennel powder and continue to cook. Be careful as the palak splutters a lot while cooking, you can keep the karahi partially covered. After about 3-4 minutes of cooking the Palak and tomato mixture will come together, at that stage add the cubed paneer and cook for another 2 minutes on medium flame so that the Paneer absorbs the masala. The delicious Palak Paneer is ready to serve.
Serving suggestions: with Rotis, Parathas, Kulcha, with rice varieties like Jeera rice, Mayar Pulav,
Flavoured rice, vegetable pilaf etc;
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
1. Assemble all ingredients. Blanch the Palak, cube the Paneer, chop onion and tomatoes.
2. Puree the Palak and set aside. In a karahi take oil and heat. Put in the cloves and cumin seeds, and as the cumin splutters add turmeric powder followed by onions and sauté for a minute. Add the green chillies and sauté for 30 seconds and now add the tomatoes and sauté until mushy. Cool and grind to a purée, along with 1 tsp ginger garlic paste.
3. In the same karahi take 2 tsp oil and heat. Now add the cumin seeds and pour in the tomato and onion paste and fry nicely in the oil.
4. Now pour the Palak purée and stir nicely. Add the salt, red chilli powder, coriander powder, fennel powder and stir. Cook on medium flame until combined, approximately 4 minutes.
5. Now add the cubed Paneer pieces to the gravy and cook covered for 2 minutes. Finally, add garam masala powder and turn off the flame. The delicious Palak Paneer is ready.
1. Blanching ( putting the Palak in hot water) is a critical step followed by dipping it in cold water.
2. I don’t usually fry the paneer before adding it to a subji or gravy unless the recipe demands it. While you are readying the gravy just put the cubed paneer in fresh water until it’s time to put it in the gravy. It will absorb the flavours better.
3. Don’t overcook the Palak, it loses its colour and taste.
If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you.
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Lauki Kaddu Ke Kofte
LAUKI-KADDU KOFTA’S(BOTTLE GOURD AND PUMPKIN KOFTAS)
Usually, these Koftas are made individually as either Lauki Koftas or Pumpkin Koftas. In a moment of experimentation, I thought why not combine the two, and I don’t regret the result at all. The sweetness of the Pumpkin was well balanced by the Lauki, and I must say it was an ideal wedding between the two.
Let’s get to the recipe right away.
PREP TIME: 20 Mins COOK TIME: 15Mins
TOTAL TIME: 35 Mins COURSE: MAIN
CUISINE: North Indian SERVINGS: 4
Ingredients for Koftas AUTHOR: Rajni Ram
Lauki( Bottle gourd) shredded 2 cups
Kaddu(Pumpkin) shredded 1 cup
Besan(Gram flour) 1/2 cup (You can add more Gram flour for tougher Koftas)
Coriander(dhania) powder 1.5 tsp
Turmeric powder 1tsp
Red chilli powder 1tsp
Salt as per taste
Green chillies 2 finely chopped
Ginger 1 inch piece finely chopped
Coriander leaves few sprigs finely chopped
Oil for frying Koftas
Ingredients for the gravy:
Onion 2 large chopped
Tomatoes 4 medium-sized chopped
Ginger garlic paste 1/2 tsp
Green chillies 2
Salt as per taste
Red chilli powder 1.tsp
Coriander(dhania) powder 2 tsp
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Elaichi/Cardamom 2-3 pods
Bay leaf(Tej patha) 1
Garam Masala Powder 1/2 tsp
Oil for deep frying Koftas
1 Tbsp oil for sauteing the onions and tomato
Cream 1 Tbsp(optional)
Method for making Koftas:
Combine the grated Lauki and Pumpkin and add all the dry ingredients including the Besan. The moisture in the vegetables is enough for formating the Koftas. Try not to add any water. Heat oil in a Karahi and when hot, reduce the flame to medium and drop the batter with a spoon, or shape them with hand and drop it in oil carefully. Fry until golden brown and repeat the same for all the batter. Put the fried koftas on absorbent paper for the oil to blot. Set aside.
Method for gravy:
In a Karahi take 1 tbsp oil and heat it. Add all whole masalas one by one, fry for a minute and add onion and saute until a nice brown, add the Tomatoes, cashew nuts, and salt and saute further until the tomatoes turn mushy.
Cool the onion-tomato mixture and grind it in a processor until smooth.
In the same Karahi add 1 Tbsp oil and heat, pour the paste when the oil is hot, and stir nicely. Add all the powdered spices and mix well. Cook until oil is released. Now add 1 cup water, adjust consistency, and let it boil. When it starts getting thick again, sprinkle the Garam masala and put off the stove and add the cream(this step is totally optional). To serve arrange the Koftas in a dish and pour the prepared gravy over it, decorate with finely chopped coriander leaves and enjoy with Rotis, Chapati, Naan, Phulkas.
STEPWISE RECIPE FOR KOFTAS FOLLOWS:
1. Assemble ingredients.
2. To the grated Lauki and Kaddu add salt followed by all the spice powders mentioned in Kofta Ingredients.
Add the Besan/ Gram flour too and combine nicely. Don’t add any water, the moisture in the vegetables will do.
3. Heat oil in a Karahi, shape the Koftas or drop them with a spoon carefully into the oil and fry them to a golden colour.
4. Put them on an absorbent paper and keep aside.
STEPWISE RECIPE FOR GRAVY FOLLOWS.
1. Heat oil in a Karahi and add Jeera/ Cumin. As they splutter add the chopped onions and ginger-garlic paste. ( you can add the whole spices too in the oil if you don’t want to chew on them while eating) . Add the 2 whole chillies too.
2. Saute well until the Onions start turning brown and add the chopped Tomatoes and Cashewnuts to this. Stir well and cook until Tomatoes break and turn mushy. Leave to cool.
Transfer to a blender and puree it.
3. Now take 1 Tbsp oil in a karahi and add the Jeera and whole spices mentioned in Gravy preparation.
( please don’t add again if you had while sauteing the Onion tomato mixture). Once they turn aromatic put in the onion-tomato puree and stir well. Keep stirring for a few minutes.
4. Stir the gravy nicely and add all the spice powders mentioned in the Gravy ingredients. Cook for 2 mins and add 1.5 cups of water. Let it come to a boil and the gravy will start thickening. At this stage add Garam masala powder and put off the stove. Add the cream now and give a gentle stir( this step is optional).
5. Assembly of Koftas and Gravy- In a flat dish arrange the Koftas and pour the gravy over them. Decorate with finely chopped coriander leaves and serve with Rotis, Phulkas, Naan.
I have served them with hot phulkas.
NOTES: 1. The moisture in the vegetables is enough for forming the Koftas.
2. If you choose to add the whole spices to the onion-tomato mix, you can consider straining the puree, to get rid of any unground spice.
3. If you are adding all whole-spices together to the oil directly, after making the gravy you can fish them out with a spoon if you don’t want to chew on them.
If you try out this recipe, please comment below. I would love to hear from you.