recipe for Palak Paneer comes from India and was commissioned
to compliment the earlier published article entitled Indian
Cooking . . . how did it become so popular?
Palak paneer is a thick gravy made of spinach and paneer.
It mainly originated from India. Palak saag can be traced
back to the Harappan civilization. At that time, they used
to cook saag with milk. Paneer was introduced in India during
the Mughal Empire.
Palak paneer is an important part of Indian cuisine, eaten
all over India but mostly famous in north India, specifically
in Punjab. It is very nutritious. Paneer fulfils the need
for protein in vegetarians, and this may be one of the reasons
why it is so popular in India, where most of the population
Traditionally the dish can be eaten with roti, naan or even
with boiled rice. It goes well with lassi, a kind of drink
made of thin yoghurt, mixed with sugar or salt and cumin powder.
Nutritionally, it is recommended to eat curd or orange juice
with spinach by diet specialists.
The main ingredients of palak paneer are spinach and paneer
Ingredients for Palak Paneer
Paneer (shop bought or home-made)
Ginger and garlic (crushed)
Salt to taste
Oil or Ghee
Ingredients for paneer:
Citric acid or vinegar or lemon juice
How to make Palak Paneer
the spinach thoroughly and chop in into really small pieces
it is soft, take off the heat and let it cool. Blend in
a blender into a fine paste, not adding any water.
some oil or ghee in a pan and add the chopped onion and
fry until golden brown. Add the ginger and garlic and fry.
the chopped tomatoes, garam masala, turmeric, coriander,
cumin powder, chilli powder and salt. Cook until tomatoes
are completely mashed and then add the spinach and let it
simmer on a low heat.
can either buy paneer from a shop or make it at home. To
make it boil the milk and while it is still boiling add
one of the citrus agents mentioned above and keep mixing
it until milk curdles and leave whey. Strain it through
a muslin cloth and squeeze all the whey out, press this
cloth by using anything heavy for 2 hours. Cut it into cubes
when it is ready. Leftover whey can be used to knead flour
for making chapattis.
the ghee or oil in a separate pan and fry the paneer cubes
until golden brown on all sides. Add these to the spinach
gravy and simmer for another 20 minutes.
some more oil or ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds, when
they stop splattering add some red chilli powder and take
off the heat. Add this to the top of the palak paneer.
with a piece of butter when it is ready to eat.
dish goes best with butter naan.
"Just a comment about the quantity of ingredients in this
series of recipes, I would say that most people add in different
amounts according to how they like it. Recipes are either
normally passed on or people learn by experimenting with different
amounts of spices until they get the taste they like, for
example, I know I put different amounts of thngs into curries
than my family and friends do, everyone does tend to work
out how much they like."
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