Saturday, December 11, 2010

How to Cook Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer ( Spinach with Cottage Cheese or Tofu) is a recipe very well known and is a traditional food in India. It is a very delicious and healthy recipe good for vegetarians and health conscious people. I personally like how palak or spinach is so green before I put it in a blender and make a fine paste. Cottage cheese or tofu plays an important part to balance this recipe since palak itself is too fine and to chew something from this recipe, you need the softness of the paneer or tofu (tokwa in Tagalog). Below is the list of ingredients needed for this recipe.

Ingredients for Palak Paneer:

1 bunch of Spinach (Palak)
half tsp. of garam masala
half tsp. of cumin powder
half tsp. coriander powder
pinch of turmeric powder
half tsp. of chili powder ( if you want it more spicy, you can add more)
2-3 cloves of garlic
pinch of fenugreek leaves powder
1 tomato - chopped in small bits
one medium size onion
1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
2 green chillies (sliced into pieces)
salt to taste
2-3 tbsp. of oil
2 tbsp. whip cream or all purpose cream (optional)
paneer or cottage cheese(tofu)- 1 vacuum packed size

Methods/ Preparations for Cooking Palak Paneer:

Boil water and once it reaches the boiling point, put the spinach or palak in and don't cover your pot because this will get your palak darker in color and not green. Once your palak is done, set it aside or cool it down before you put it in a blender to make a fine paste. Just put ample amount of water for your own preference.

Sauteeing the ingredients:

You need to heat the oil and then put the garam masala first, then followed by cumin powder. After this you need to put the garlic cloves and then onions. Put a small amount of salt in your onion to cook it faster. After this you need to put a pinch of turmeric powder on your onion and stir it well so that it won't stick at the bottom of your pan. Put the ginger-garlic paste and next will be your tomatoes. Once your tomato is kinda mushy, put the coriander powder and then later put the chili powder and next will be the fenugreek leaves powder. After putting the fenugreek powder, add the chopped green chillies. Set this all aside and keep it cool for some time before you put it in a mixer to make a fine paste.

Cooking the Palak and the Paneer:

Once you have mixed into fine paste the sauteed ingredients, put some ample amount of water into it and make it boil, after this you can now add the palak paste that you set aside awhile ago and it will look like the picture below. See how the steaming goodness of palak is:

Notice How Green my Palak Is
palak paneer

Once you see some oil on the site of your pan or wok, then you can now put your paneer or cottage cheese (tofu). Simmer for a few more minutes till your cottage cheese or paneer is tender and ready and then the last is your whip cream.

Palak Paneer is now ready to eat
cottage cheese,palak,spinach with cottage

Just make sure you cut the cottage cheese or paneer a bit bigger. You don't want your paneer crushed so avoid stirring and stirring the pan. Just put some more salt if you feel like the taste still needs more.


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