Palak paneer (spinach and paneer)

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Its been a bit quiet around here hasnt it? Well, I finally decided to unpack my props after about a month of moving into the new place and when that got sorted, I had trouble with the whole lighting situation. I had to find ways and means of utilising what little light came from the one window in my living room. From a house with floor to ceiling windows, this came as a complete downer. I cribbed about it to Ro and he said a good photographer would figure out how to manipulate light whatsoever. Challenge accepted was my reply!

The fact that we have terrible weather now hasnt helped either. I mean seriously.. enough with the whole rain, wind and single digit temperatures. We had 1 week of brill weather where everyone rejoiced and thought summer arrived early, only to be fooled by this ridiculous cold spell soon after. So its back to boots and shawls for a lil more longer i suppose.

Anyways, after a few hasty trials with the camer, I finally called it quits. This was the outcome of the final few trials and although I’m not happy with it at all, i thought i should feed the blog with this rather satisfactory preparation of palak paneer. Its been ages since ive cooked with panner and its the first time ive tried palak paneer at home. I cant remember the last time i tasted palak paneer and so even though it didnt taste exceptionally good, i cherished it to no end. It was delicious with hot chapatis.

Recipe adapted from here (serves 2 to 3)
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Paneer- 225 gms, cut into cubes

Baby spinach- 200 gms

Garlic- 3 small pods, roughly chopped

Ginger- 1/2 inch, peeled and roughly chopped

Green chillies- 2 small, chopped

Ghee oil- 1 tbsp

Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp

Bay leaf- 1 small

Onion- 1/3rd cup

Garlic- 4 small pods, peeled and finely chopped

Tomato- 1 small, finely chopped

Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp

Chilli powder- 1 tsp

Coriander powder- 1/2 tsp

Asafoetida- a pinch

Water- 1/2 cup

Garam masala- 1/4 tsp

Kasoori methi- 1 tsp

Double cream- 2 tbsp

Salt- to taste

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Soak the paneer cubes in some warm water if its hard..especially if its store bought. This would soften it pretty much. Drain before using.

Cook the spinach in a microwave, for about 3 minutes, covered. Blanching is ideal, but i was too lazy to do that.

Purée the wilted spinach with garlic, ginger and green chillies and keep aside.

In a kadai, heat the ghee and add the cumin seeds and bay leaf.

Once they splutter, add the onions and cook on medium heat till golden brown.

Throw in the garlic and saute for a minute or two. Dont brown it.

Add the tomato and cook till the oil slightly separates at which point you put in the spices- turmeric, chilli, coriander and asafoetida- and cook till the raw smell disappears.

Pour in the spinach purée, mix it all together and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes along with 1/2 cup water.

One the sauce starts simmering, add the paneer cubes and salt and continue to cook for a few more minutes. The paneer should be coated well with the palak masala.

Sprinkle the garam masala and kasoori methi and mix it all in

Finally stir in the double cream, close with a lid.

You can pour a tsp of cream on top of the palak paneer when ready to serve.

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