Origins of Palak Paneer
Paneer is the most common Indian form of cheese. It is a non-melting Farmer cheese similar to fresh mozzarella except that it does not have salt added. Paneer is prepared by acidification of milk which results in curding. The excess water is removed and the solidified milk is pressed in a cloth. Paneer can be used as cubes or grated or even mashed. There are a number of paneer recipes in India. Paneer is considered as a food of celebration. So, the recipes using this Indian cottage cheeses is meant for some special occasions or celebrations, as well as a treat for the family, from time to time. The recipes range from stuffed breads to curries to desserts.
Best Palak Paneer recipe
4 bunches spinach (Palak) washed & finely chopped
panir (made from 1 litre milk) cut into cubes
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions cut into small pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons dhaniya powder (corriander powder)
1 1/2 tablespoons red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon jeera powder (powdered cumin seeds)
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
2 tomatoes cut into cubes
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 cup curds
1 teaspoon sugar
Heat a little butter and fry palak until it shrinks.Allow to cool.Grind to a smooth paste. Grind cashews and poppy seeds together to a smooth paste.Fry all the spices in a little ghee and then powder. Heat rest of the butter with a little oil and fry onions till crisp and golden. Add dhania powder, jeera powder(cumin powder), chilli powder and then tomatoes. Stir for a minute. Add whipped curds.Cook on reduced flame till oil floats on top. Add salt, sugar, ground palak leaves, turmeric powder and cook for a few minutes. Mix cashew-poppy paste and pour in just enough water required for the gravy. Cook on medium flame till gravy becomes thick. Add paneer pieces. Remove from heat. Sprinkle garam masala powder.Serve hot with finely cut onions and lime.
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