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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Palak Paneer (Indian spinach and cheese curry)

OK, the color is off a bit in the picture, but believe me this was AAAAmazing!  And fairly easy to make too.   As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I've been wanting to make palak paneer.  I stumbled across this blog, Indian Simmer, and Prerna's palak paneer recipe.  Well, actually it is her husband's recipe! (Read the blog for the story).

I had tons of spinach, and I made my own paneer since I couldn't find any here.  I followed Prerna's husband's recipe pretty closely, but here is exactly what I did.

Ingredients:
1 lb fresh baby spinach, rinsed and spun in salad spinner
4 oz paneer
1 cup chopped red onion
1 cup pureed tomato (I used canned diced tomatoes and pureed them in food processor)
3 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 inch finger of fresh ginger, peeled (you probably don't have to peel it)
3 drops of sriracha (hot chili sauce-didn't have thai chili)
1 tsp fennel seeds
3 whole cloves
2 TBSP coriander powder
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
2 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
(I omitted the cream in the original recipe-meant to stir in 2 TBSP plain non-fat greek yogurt, but forgot! I'm sure the cream would make it really rich but we enjoyed it without the added calories and fat)

Method:
Add the spinach, cloves, and fennel seeds to a pot of boiling water and cook until wilted (few minutes at most).  Remove spinach, cloves, and fennel seeds and allow to cool.  Save water incase you need to thin the curry later (I didn't need it but I did cook the rice we were having in the water). 

When cool, put in food processor and pulse until well chopped.  Remove and wipe out food processor bowl.  Add onion, ginger and garlic to food processor and process until very fine. 

Heat oil and add onion mixture. 
 Cook over med-high until well browned.
Add salt. Stir and then add coriander and curry.
Stir well and add tomatoes.
Cook until water from tomato is gone and sauce is thick.  Add the spinach mixture and cover, cooking on low for about 2-3 minutes. 

Stir in sriracha (and cream or yogurt if using).  Gently stir in cheese.  Cook over low a couple of minutes more and serve.

It's really delicious!  I hope you'll give it a try and let me (and Prerna) know how you like it.
Printable Recipe

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