Palak Paneer is a popular North Indian curry made of blanched spinach and soft paneer. This restaurant style spicy Punjabi palak paneer recipe prepares yummy curry by cooking deep fried paneer cubes in healthy spinach gravy, which is sautéed with finely balanced curry spices in aromatic ghee. Additionally, this recipe uses milk cream to bring in rich creamy texture. Serve this spinach paneer curry with equally delicious garlic naan for scrumptious meal.
1 large bunch or 4 cups chopped Spinach (Palak)
3/4 cup (approx. 150 gm) Paneer (cubed into 1/2-inch pieces)
1-2 Green Chillies, seeded and chopped (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seeds, optional
1 large Onion, finely chopped (approx. 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste (or crushed)
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
1/2 teaspoon Kasuri Methi (dry fenugreek leaves), optional
2 tablespoons Fresh Cream
1/3 cup Water
2 tablespoons Oil + 1 tablespoon Butter
Salt to taste
Clean and wash spinach in water to remove any soil or impurities. To blanch the spinach, boil it in salted water for 2 minutes.
Drain it using a big perforated spoon or a strainer.
Immediately transfer drained spinach into cold water and keep for a minute.
Drain excess water and transfer blanched spinach to the medium size jar of a mixer grinder. Add green chillies and grind until smooth puree. If required, add few tablespoons of water while grinding.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a non-stick pan or kadai over medium flame. Add paneer cubes and shallow fry them until the sides turn light brown. Transfer them to a plate and keep aside. You can remove excess ghee or oil from it by placing them on absorbent kitchen paper napkin.
Heat remaining 1-tablespoon oil and 1-tablespoon butter together in the same pan over medium flame. Add cumin seeds and saute them for 30 seconds. (If you don’t like cumin seeds, you can avoid it.) Add finely chopped onion and stir fry until it turns translucent. Add ginger-garlic paste and stir fry for 30 seconds.
Add spinach puree and salt. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add 1/3 cup water. Mix well and bring it to a boil. Stir occasionally in between.
When gravy starts to boil, add shallow fried paneer cubes and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add lemon juice, kasuri methi and mix well. Turn off the flame and mix milk cream.
Transfer it to a serving bowl and serve with tandoori roti, kulcha or butter naan.
Tips and Variations:
– Make best palak paneer with tofu by adding shallow fried tofu cubes. If paneer cubes are not available and you still want to enjoy goodness of this Punjabi curry, then prepare it with only tofu cubes.
– If you want to have very soft paneer that mixes well with gravy of palak, then soak them in hot water for 10 minutes after shallow frying.
– Add milk cream only after turning off the flame as it may curdle if added before.
– Add more water in step-8 and adjust seasoning according to taste to make more amount of gravy in curry.
– This simple and easy recipe uses shallow fried paneer cubes to improve the flavor and texture of curry. However, you can avoid shallow frying them to reduce the calorie of this dish.
Taste: Creamy and spicy
Serving Ideas: Apart from serving tasty Punjabi palak paneer gravy with various Indian breads like palin paratha, butter naan and lachha paratha, it can also be enjoyed with steamed rice or jeera rice and boondi raita.