Palak Paneer

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Bought some fresh bunch of palak and mint leaves last weekend. So I had to make palak paneer out of this. I never liked any vegetarian dishes before marriage but everything changed post marriage. From my choice of food to my taste, everything just changed. Why? Because my husband and in laws are vegetarians 😁 I was not too much fond of vegetarian dishes plus I didn’t know how to cook them too. So when I started cooking, I had to call my mom for almost all the recipes. After a lot of trial and errors, I started cooking on my own, without my moms guidance. And now I am sure she will love palak paneer or any other dish made by me :mrgreen:  I don’t make this very often as my dear husband doesn’t like it much. So say once in a month, I do make this. I also don’t add too much paneer, just a few cubes.

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For palak paneer, I follow her recipe with just one change, that too just sometimes. She doesn’t add mint leaves to it and I do. The flavor of mint adds freshness to the dish. The credit goes to the food groups I follow. I have read so many recipes using mint leaves and I also quite like using mint leaves to my palak paneer (not too much though). You can choose to skip mint leaves totally. To be true, I have never liked this dish in any restaurant or made by someone else other than my mom.

The palak gravy I make is not very smooth as I use finely chopped onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic. My mom makes the puree in her silbatta and that makes a lot difference. I personally just don’t like the puree if made using mixer grinder. So I prefer chopping them as finely as I can and use. My mom actually add hing while preparing the masalas and gives just ghee tadka in the end. But I like adding hing to the tadka. Palak paneer goes well with Phulkas and rice both. I serve it with phulkas when I make it for dinner and with rice for lunch.

I have used homemade paneer. I don’t discard the whey and add this to the gravy to get the desired consistency. I also don’t fry the paneer. If you don’t like using raw paneer than saute them in a pan with some ghee before making the gravy. Lets move to the recipe now.

Ingredients:

3 cups tightly packed chopped spinach (palak)
Paneer cubes as needed
1/4 cup, loosely packed mint leaves (optional)
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 big tomato, chopped finely
3 big garlic cloves, chopped finely
1 inch ginger, chopped finely
Green chilly to taste, chopped finely
1 1/2 tsp jeera (cumin) powder
1/4 tsp garam masala
1 tsp pepper powder, freshly ground
1/2 tsp haldi (turmeric) powder
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil/ghee

For the tadka:

Ghee as needed
Hing as per your taste

Method:

Clean the spinach leaves properly using water. Chop the leaves and cook them for one whistle in a pressure cooker using half a cup of water. If you want, you can blanch the leaves as well. Open the lid, discard all the water. Keep the leaves in a strainer, wash it with chilled water (helps retaining the color) and then puree the spinach along with the mint leaves in a grinder. Keep aside. Make sure you drain the water well from the leaves and not use any water while grinding it. 

Heat oil in a pan, add the chopped onion, ginger and garlic. Keep the flame low and fry till the onions turns very soft. Once done, add chopped tomatoes, jeera powder, haldi to it and cook till oil separates from the mixture. Add pepper powder, garam masala, sugar and mix. Saute for a minute and add palak puree. At this time, you can add some warm water to the puree as per the consistency you desire. Add paneer cubes as well. Keep the flame high and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes. Switch off the flame. Don’t simmer it for more than the mentioned time as it affects the green color of palak. .

For tadka,  Heat some ghee in a big spoon or a small pan. Add hing to the heated ghee, spread over the palak paneer and serve. This tadka needs to be added just before serving. 

Mom’s tip:

* Do not skip pepper powder and sugar, it enhance the taste. Also use freshly ground pepper powder only to get the perfect taste.

Please do try this out and share your feedback along with a picture on my Facebook page PicUrFood. Also, like it for regular updates:)

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Creamy cottage cheese and capsicum

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Paneer is something my husband doesn’t enjoy at all. So I don’t cook dishes which has paneer as main ingredient. I do include paneer in our diet but my husband doesn’t realize that he is having paneer 😀 I mostly use grated paneer in everything especially to make him have it. This paneer recipe I am sharing today is my #OnePotMeal. When my husband doesn’t carry his lunch box, this comes to my rescue. I don’t really need Rice or any kind of bread with this paneer dish.I love bell peppers a lot, so I add good amount of those. The recipe is quite easy, a little creamy and absolutely delicious. I got this recipe from one of the food groups and shared it in my previous blog as well. Since I have made it so many times, everything has been adjusted as per my taste buds. Lets have a look at the recipe now.

Ingredients:

200 gms paneer cubes
1 big onion, chopped in cubes
1/2 cup bell peppers (green, red and yellow), chopped in cubes
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
3 tbsp curd
3 tbsp cream
1 tsp ginger, grated
1 green chilly
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
Salt to taste
2 tbsp oil

Method:

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Add onions. Fry in low flame for a minute. Add bell peppers, grated ginger, green chilly and saute in high flame for a minute. Make sure the bell peppers and onions doesn’t turn mushy. Once done, take out the onion and capsicum in a separate bowl.  In the same pan, heat the remaining oil, add tomatoes, salt, turmeric, red chilly powder and cook till the tomatoes turn a little mushy. In a bowl, mix and beat together cream, curd and sugar nicely. Add this to the tomato masala and cook till oil separates from the masala. Add garam masala, mix. At this stage, you can add warm water to the masala as per the consistency you want. Once done, add cooked onion-capsicum and paneer. Mix well so that everything gets coated nicely. Cook everything in low flame for 2 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and done.

** I have made this using both fresh malai and amul fresh cream, not much of a difference. I prefer using fresh curd for this. Please adjust the use of dry masalas as per your own taste. You might need to increase the quantity of dry masalas, if you increase the gravy. I prefer it a little dry.  You can deep fry/saute paneer cubes  seperately before adding it to the gravy. I use it normally. I love adding red and yellow bell peppers, you can use just green capsicum. Skip sugar totally if you want **

Please do try this out and share your feedback along with a picture on my Facebook page PicUrFood. Also, like it for regular updates 🙂