I'm a big fan of paneer. In my school days, whenever I get a holiday (or if I'm sick at home ), particularly when mom is not in home, I love to prepare paneer. I don't know from where I got to know about this way of making paneer. Heating the milk and add a teaspoon of vinegar, the milk curdles and drain away the liquid and thus paneer is made. I either don't have the patience or knowledge about much paneer recipe. So, mix some sugar with paneer and we three eats it... When mom is back at home, she would be surprised to see the empty or about to finish milk bottle.
When I was pregnant, our uncle Sam made us to taste Palak paneer and Rumali rotti.... Even though I had sort of resistance towards most of the food and its smell during those days, it awakened my taste buds and enjoyed it. It persisted in my mind and I wanted to make it at home and I did it. Recently when we bought a batch of baby spinach leaves, my affinity to prepare it again came up and made it again....
300 grams of spinach leaves (I used baby spinach)
1 medium sized onion (finely chopped)
4 green chilies (chopped)
One teaspoon of cumin seeds
Four garlic pots (chopped)
One inch of ginger (chopped well)
1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder (plus a pinch for spinach puree )
1/2 teaspoon of red chilly powder
1/2 teaspoon of coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
a pinch of asafoetida/ Kayappodi/hing
300 grams of paneer/tofu
3 tablespoons of cream (Half and half or Amul fresh cream)
3 tablespoons of ghee
3 to 4 cups of water (normal temperature)
3 to 4 cups of cold water
Salt to taste
Wash the spinach leaves well. Boil 3 to 4 cups of water and add a pinch of turmeric powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Put spinach leaves over it (Make sure that the spinach leaves are well immersed in water). Switch off the flame and let them sit for 5 minutes.
Now drain out the hot water and add cold water and let it sit in cold water for 3 to 4 minutes. (You can also add some ice cubes into it).
Remove the cold water and make the spinach puree using a mixer or blender and set aside.
Cut paneer into cubes and set aside.
On medium flame, heat ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds. When it splutters, add chopped garlic and ginger. When it starts to brown up, add finely chopped onion and saute till it becomes golden brown. Reduce the flame to low.
Now add the powders- turmeric powder, red chilly powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and asafoetida and mix well for 2 to 3 minutes on low flame and add spinach puree, and stir well. Close the lid of the pan and cook the spinach at simmer for about 10 minutes and put enough salt to taste.
Pour cream, mix it well and then add paneer and let it sit for 2 minutes and switch off the flame. (Especially in this step, do not go for medium or high heat. Let it be on the low flame otherwise it may result in the curdling of cream.)
Stir and ready to serve with chapatis, rotis ,nan, or cooked rice.
For this Palak paneer recipe, I referred, chef Harpal Singh's Paneer recipe. When you have this curry you will feel to eat more .......don't be guilty, go on..... :-)
Sending this to Remmy's Kitchen