Indian-Style Palak Panner
Are you an adventurous eater? I certainly am. I love to experience different flavours of foods from around the world! This week, a client asked if I could please post an Indian recipe, so I decided to do my own take on my all-time favourite Indian dish, Palak Paneer.
For those who are unfamiliar, paneer is a fresh cheese that is common South Asia. You can find paneer at your local grocery store in the cheese and yogurt aisle. Palak refers to spinach. So basically, we are making a spinach curry with cheese. I made this recipe for my grandma, she enjoyed herself too!
Prep time: 20-25 minutes
Cook time: 30-40 minutes
1 cup of basmati rice
375 grams of paneer, cut into cubes
1-2 tbsp canola oil
Spinach, 16 oz fresh or 1 large a 1 small container of raw spinach
2 tbsp canola oil
small onion, diced
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2 tomatoes, diced
salt to taste
cilantro (optional topping)
¼ cup water to add to spinach in blender
- Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Place raw spinach into boiling water to blanch for about two to three minutes. Strain the bright green spinach from the water and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Press spinach in the strainer to remove excess liquid. Separate spinach into two bowls, one for adding to the curry and the other half to put in a blender. Add ½ cup of water to the spinach in the blender. This spinach puree will later be added to the curry.
- Cook basmati rice according to package instructions. Set aside.
- In a large fry pan, heat canola oil on medium- high heat. Add cubes of paneer to the oil and toss to coat. Allow the paneer to cook on each side so that a light brown colouring appears. Cook paneer for about 8-10 minutes. Remove paneer from the fry pan and place on paper towel-lined plate.
- In your large fry pan, heat canola oil over medium heat and add onion and spices: cumin, turmeric and garam masala. Toss onions to coat in the spices and cook until lightly softened, about two or three minutes. You may also add a pinch of salt with the spices and onions to draw the flavour.
- Add garlic and ginger to onions. Add more oil if fry pan becomes too dry.
- Toss in your diced tomatoes and allow to cook for about five minutes.
- Add half the amount of cooked spinach to the curry along with the pureed spinach from the blender.
- Allow curry to simmer on medium-high heat for about 15 minutes. Stir sauce to prevent sticking and add ¼ cup of water if your sauce is too thick for your liking.
- Add the cooked paneer to the curry sauce and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Serve palak paneer on top of basmati rice with fresh cilantro as a garnish.