Palak paneer should have been one of my very first posts in the North Indian cooking section as this was the first NI dish i learnt from my aunt. I would like to thank and acknowledge the important role Geetha aunty has played in motivating me to start cooking dishes at that were only eaten at restaurants. She gave me a step by step recipe and guided me verbally as how to make it. That was the beginning of my exploration journey into the world of cooking. I knew then I didn’t have to stop at learning my mom’s recipes, the whole wide world of recipes was open to me. I learnt this recipe circa 1992 and till date follow the exact same directions. The best part is I remember how she thought this recipe to me word to word. She said “remember CCC and GGG are the key ingredients” and i was like huh? CCC = cinnamon, clove and cardamom and GGG = ginger, garlic and green chilli. Isn’t that amazing? I have made it many many times and have received many compliments and once again my heartfelt thanks to Geetha aunty for being such an inspiration. This is a unique suggestion but try this palak paneer with Fried rice and see if you like that combination. Have tried it with a lot of my family members and a few friends and so far the response has been great.
Remove stems,wash and clean spinach leaves. Boil a large pot of water add a pinch of salt and add the spinach leaves. Boil and drain water (keep water) and immediately rinse the leaves in cold water. This helps retain the beautiful green of the leaves. Grind the boiled spinach into a smooth paste.
Cut paneer into small sized cubes. Heat oil in a pan, add the paneer and saute till light golden brown. Remove paneer and transfer it into a bowl filled with warm water.
To the remaining oil in the pan add onion and saute till translucent. Add the coarsely chopped GGG (ginger, green chilli and garlic) and saute for a few minutes.
Coarsely pound the CCC (cinnamon, clove and cardamom) mixture and add this to the pan with onions.
Add the red chilli powder and garam masala and saute everything.
Now add the ground palak mix and saute it till the oil leaves the sides of the pan. About 3-4 minutes. If it becomes too thick add a little boiled water. Add salt to taste. Adjust spice if needed.
Lastly add the paneer and mix everything well. Cook for a couple of minutes.
Enjoy delicious palak paneer with rice or roti or an unusual yet awesome main course of fried rice.