Global Veg » A Culinary Journal

Palak Paneer (Creamed Spinach from India)

IMG_5869_KidsDinnerPartyWe had a pretty fancy dinner party at our house the other day- something that does not happen very often. There were 7 items prepared by 3 chefs for 11 guests. By chefs choice, it was an authentic Indian meal. The chefs spent about 2 weeks coordinating schedules and planning the menu to an extremely detailed level. Global Veg was just there as a consultant and to ensure that the chefs cooked safely in the kitchen…IMG_5868_KidsDinnerPartyDid I mention that the three very special chefs are just 12 years old? Their first accomplishment of summer break, having just completed 6th grade- cooking an amazing meal for their families. They organized the ingredients, measured spices, prepped herbs and cut vegetables. From cooking to serving, they did an fabulous job!IMG_5864_KidsDinnerPartyHere was the menu for the dinner:

Starters:

Mango Lassi

Crispy Potato Patties with cilantro chutney (click for recipe)

Main Course:

Palak Paneer (recipe below in today’s post)

Chana Masala (coming soon)

On the side:

Cumin Rice (coming soon)

Store bought Naan

Carrot & Tomato Raita (coming soon)

Dessert:

Kulfi (click for recipe)

  I will be featuring the recipes made in this special dinner party over the next few weeks. Today, Palak Paneer is on the menu.

Palak Paneer (Creamed Spinach from India)

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Serving Size: 10-12 servings

Ingredients

  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee
  2. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  3. 1 small onion, diced finely
  4. 3-4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped finely
  5. 1 inch fresh ginger, chopped or grated
  6. 1 large tomato, diced finely (or use 1 cup crushed tomatoes)
  7. 1 pound baby spinach, chopped very finely
  8. 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  9. 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  10. 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  11. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  12. 1 teaspoon garam masala
  13. 1/4 teaspoon ground chile powder (cayenne)- this is mild. use more if you like it spicy.
  14. 1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust as needed)
  15. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  16. 8 ounces of paneer, cubed and roasted (instructions below)*
  17. cilantro for garnish

Method

  1. Before you start cooking get all the ingredients prepped. Dice/chop the vegetables and herbs. Roast the paneer. There are a lot of spices used. Combine the cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, garam masala, cayenne, salt in a small cup and set aside.
  2. Heat oil/ghee in heavy saucepan or wok on medium heat.
  3. When the oil/ghee is hot, add cumin seeds.
  4. When cumin seeds start browning (after a minute or so), add the chopped onions.
  5. When the onions turn golden, add the garlic and ginger.
  6. Sauté for a minute then add the chopped tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes start getting mushy (3-5 minutes).
  7. Add the spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted and soft (5-10 minutes).
  8. Add the remaining spices (spice blend of cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, garam masala, cayenne, salt).
  9. Mix well.
  10. Lower the heat to low and add the fresh cream and roasted paneer cubes. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
  11. Turn off the heat. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
  12. For the paneer:
  13. Heat a skillet on medium on the stovetop with 1 tablespoon olive oil. 
  14. Cut the paneer into cubes and add to the skillet.
  15. When one side of the paneer is browned and crispy, flip to the other side.
  16. Remove from heat and use as required.

Notes

Spinach- If you want the palak paneer more restaurant style, puree the spinach in a food processor with a little water (1/4 cup). Otherwise, cut very finely and use. Frozen spinach works well also- just rinse and drain to remove the excess water.

Feel free to experiment with other greens (mustard greens, chard, etc) or combinations of greens.

Make the paneer freshly at home (see this recipe) or buy at an Indian market or Whole Foods.

http://globalveg.com/2014/07/02/saag-paneer-creamed-spinach-from-india/

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