As a child my mum always tried new recipes, made new dishes so that family meals weren’t mundane. These new dishes often enticed us because of its beautiful aroma and vibrant colors. Being a fussy eater, she then mixed some veggies which I loathed among the ones I loved. I guess a lot of people can relate to this at some point in their life. In due course of time, I started loving those leafy vegetables to the bitter ones and I can’t that my mom enough for opening my taste buds to such a wide array of produce that is available in the market.
Among the dishes that mum cooked, she often made variations of spinach and cottage cheese (paneer) and this deconstructed palak paneer is my favorite. The subtle flavors of the spices, the earthy flavors from the spinach and the softness from the paneer all combines to create a great lingering effect on your palate. Though Indian curries requires a lot of patience to achieve the correct balance, this recipe is an exceptional. When I have guests coming in no time or too tired after day’s work, I often resort to this recipe since its nutritious, quick and super easy.
So even if you have a long day at work or home, do remember that you can still have a sumptuous meal with your family!
INGREDIENTS: (For 3 – 4 people)
- 250 grams spinach
- 200 grams paneer/cottage cheese, diced
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 tsp tomato ketchup
- 2 tsp ghee
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cardamom pod, broken open
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small mace
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- salt, to taste
- pinch of sugar
- Roughly chop the spinach and blanch it on medium heat with a pinch of sugar to retain the green color.
- Once blanched, drain the water and run it under cold water.
- In a saucepan take ghee. Once hot add bay leaf, mace, cardamom pod and sauté for a few seconds.
- Then add garlic and sauté until its light golden brown.
- Next add the blanched spinach leaves, turmeric powder, red chili powder and salt let the mixture cook for 3 – 4 minutes.
- Add the paneer cubes and let it cook for a couple of minutes.
- When the paneer cubes and spinach is well cooked with the spices add whole milk and let it simmer for 3 – 4 minutes.
- Once the gravy comes to a boil, add the tomato ketchup and mix it.
- Let the curry cook for a minute and then serve it hot with freshly made parathas or rotis.