Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Palak Paneer

Those who have read Popeye comics or seen the cartoon obviously think about spinach or Palak. A leafy vegetable packed with vitamins minerals and fiber, Palak is one of the most sought after ingredient in vegetarian cooking. Punjabis popularised the dish Palak Paneer that we get to see in almost every multicuisine restaurant and dhaba in India.

I first tasted Palak Paneer at Kurnool when we were returning from a trip of Hyderabad in the early Seventies. It was prepared well at that restaurant annexe the Lodge we stayed in. The inviting aroma of melting whole cream made me eat two extra rotis that day!

I formulated the recipe myself after we married and settled down. Meena makes this the way I want it and this recipe is intended to highlight the flavour of palak and paneer with very slight hint of masala ingredients.


Ingredients:
Palak - 300 Gms
Soda bicarb - A pinch
Paneer - 200 Gms
Red long Chillies - 4
Garlic flakes - 6
Cumin powder - 1 Tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 Tsp
Sugar - 1/2 Tsp
Whole Cream - 50 Ml
Salt - To taste
Oil - 2 Tsp

Method:
Clean and wash palak with running water and then soak the leaves in salt water to get rid of worms and eggs.
Wash again and chop. Pressure cook for 2 mins with a pinch of soda bicarb and then blend into a puree in the mixer.
Cut paneer into 1/2" cubes and soak in hot water with a pinch of turmeric powder for 10 mins.
Drain and fry with oil in a kadai or thick bottomed pan till slightly golden. Drain and keep aside.
To the same oil, add the chopped garlic and the red long chillies. Fry till chillies become crisp and garlic turns golden.
Add turmeric powder and cumin powder. Fry lightly.
Add the pureed palak, salt to taste and sugar. bring to a boil.
Drop the fried paneer pieces, cover and simmer for 2-3 mins.
Now fold in beaten thick cream  and serve hot with rotis, chapathis or phulkas.

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