Thursday, March 14, 2013

Palak Paneer

I have made a lot of attempts to be a more organized person as far as weeknight cooking goes. I am only just making peace with the fact that it is just not 'me'! The idea is that if you can get a lot of your food prepping done on weekends without much effort ,you won't have to spend too much time in the kitchen chopping and cleaning during the week. This requires a little bit of planning before you go grocery shopping on the weekends and an hour or so of prepping. And your weeknight meals go very smoothly because everything you need for a recipe is cut/pureed/crushed/sliced already. One such easy breezy weeknight dinner is the Indian vegetarian favorite, Palak Paneer.

Even if you are like me and tend to google recipes when you're already half way to starvation after work on a weeknight, this is easy enough to make. 

Prep time: 20-25 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Palak Paneer


1 bag Spinach, blanched and strained
1 Onion (Medium to Big), coarsely chopped
½” Ginger
4-5 cloves Garlic
1 green chili
3 tbsp Tomato Puree (fresh or canned okay)
1 tbsp Cumin Seeds
1tsp Turmeric Powder
1tsp Mild Red Chili Powder (optional)
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 bag Paneer, cubed (250 grams)
1-2 tbsp Oil


For this recipe I have used homemade paneer. You can use store bought paneer which is readily available in Indian stores. Just don't get those nasty fried ones. Do you really want to deep fry your cheese? Paneer is quite easy to make though and there are lots of pretty good step by step recipes online so give it a try.

Homemade Paneer

Homemade Paneer

Cubed Paneer

  • Heat 1 tbsp oil and sautee the onion, ginger, garlic and green chili.

  • Once the onion turns translucent, turn the heat off and cool the mixture.
  • While the onion is cooking, boil a pot of water and blanch the spinach, drain and cool

  • Blend the onion mixture along with the spinach into a smooth paste.(Meal planning tip: this puree easily lasts up to a week in the fridge and retains its flavor so this a do-ahead step)

Heat the rest of the oil and add cumin seeds.

Cumin see tempering

Add the tomato puree, turmeric, chili powder, salt and garam masala powder and cook for about 5 minutes

Sauce for the palak paneer

sauce for the palak paneer

Add the spinach-onion blend and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Spinach gravy for palak paneer

While this is cooking, put the lid on unless you want to get attacked by the hot mixture and want to scrub your kitchen for the rest of the evening!

Cook the spinach gravy

Add the paneer and salt to taste and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Add the paneer

Palak Paneer

Serve with rotis or rice.



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