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Monday, June 20, 2011

Paalak Paneer - Cottage Cheese in a Spinach Sauce

This recipe for Paalak(Spinach) Paneer(Cottage Cheese) has converted me. You see, in the past, I've had Paalak Paneer on a few occasions at buffets and restaurants and was never too crazy about it. It was always too bland for me. Simply put, it looked and tasted like a green mush with not so fresh pieces of cottage cheese. A couple of years ago, I was watching an episode of 'Indian Food Made Easy' by Anjum Anand, where she makes a batch of Paalak Paneer. Everything was made from scratch, even the cottage cheese. I decided to make some, simply because I wanted to try making cottage cheese at home. That process requires a separate post and I'll get to it when I make cottage cheese next. Usually, I use the store bought variety, because I seldom plan my meal too far ahead.

Anyway, back to the dish. This was everything, the others (at buffets and restaurants) weren't. It is delicately flavored and creamy. I loved it. I happen to make this again, over the weekend and served it with jeera rice (which I'd never made before). It paired really well. Now I know, for a fact, that if ever I need to whip up something meatless for my vegetarian friends, this is exactly what I will make.

So try it out and let me know how you like it.

Paalak Paneer
Recipe by: Anjum Anand
(Serves 4-5)

750g spinach, washed and drained
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 1/2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1-2 green chillies, whole
2 tsp coriander powder
250g Paneer / Cottage cheese, cut into cubes
1/2 - 1 tsp garam masala powder
6 tbsp whole milk or 4 tbsp double cream (I used cream)
1-2 tsp lemon juice, or to taste
Salt, to taste

Blanch the spinach in hot water till wilted. This should take about 3 minutes.

Drain using a colander and run under some cold water till it cools down. This will help maintain its lovely color and will prevent it from cooking any further.

Blend it to a smooth paste and set aside.

Heat oil in a large pan. Add the cumin and fry till it is fragrant. Don't let it burn.

Add the onion and let it fry on low heat till it turns soft. This should take about 5-6 minutes.

Add the ginger, garlic and chillies and cook for another minute.

Add the coriander powder and salt and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the spinach puree and a tiny splash of water if necessary. The puree should be loose, but not watery. (I reserve the water that the spinach was blanched in and use it here, if needed.)

Bring this to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes.

Add the garam masala powder, paneer cubes and milk or cream.

Stir and cook for a few minutes till the spinach is nice and creamy.

Add lemon juice to taste.

Serve hot.

Tomorrow I will post the recipe for the Jeera (Cumin) rice. Stay tuned.

This recipe is linked to -
Savory Sunday
Just Another Meatless Monday
Meatless Mondays
Mangia Mondays
Meatless Mondays
Mouthwatering Monday


  1. I never tried this..looks simply delicious..:P

    Tasty Appetite

  2. I love making this healthy paneer dish. Looks absolutely delicious

    Hamaree Rasoi

  3. Amanda-The Sweet DetailsJune 21, 2011 at 7:50 AM

    Oh yum, this looks great! Thanks for sharing this at Savory Sundays!!

  4. Thanks Jay, Deepa and Amanda!

  5. Paalak Paneer is one of my very favorite things to eat, but I've never tried making it at home. I'm printing this recipe and can't wait to give it a try!

  6. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do Jenn!


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