Thursday, March 24, 2011

North Indian cuisine------Palak Paneer(Spinach Cottage Cheese Gravy)

This is a very special ,nutritious and famous North Indian dish.Goes very well with Nan and Chapati's,and i like it with hot plain cooked basmati/sonamasuri rice.As many people feel Palak(Spinach) is bland in taste ,but when you prepare this  recipes,really you will love eating palak.If some times you don't have paneer and not much time available to prepare one then you can substitute paneer with peas/tofu(if you like tofu taste) also.there are few tips required in this recipe otherwise its a very tasty and easy recipe.
Ingredients:
  • 1 big bunch palak(Spinach)
  • 1 big onion cut lengthwise
  • 2 small tomatoes cut lengthwise
  • 2" ginger chopped
  • 3-5 garlic pods chopped
  • 2-3 green chilies
  • 1 cup paneer pieces(cubes)(see my paneer recipe)
  • 1 tsp moong dal(split green gram dal)
  • 1-2 tsp sugar  
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp  haldi(turmeric powder)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp gram masala
  • 1/2 tsp amchur powder/lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp cashew (optional)
  • red chilies (optional)
  • seasoning
  • 3 tsp oil
  • 1 full tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf cut into pieces
  • 1 cardamon
  • 1 tsp cashews
Method:
Clean ,wash and chop the palak.prepare paneer and keep it ready.
Cut onion,tomatoes,ginger and garlic.

Take a pan,put oil ,cumin seeds.when cumin seeds are light roasted add 3/4 onion,ginger,garlic,3/4 of green chilies,red chilies and cashews stir fry for 2 minutes till onion turns red.add turmeric powder,moong dal,red chili powder,coriander powder and stir  fry for 2 minutes.Now add palak,little salt,sugar,3/4 of tomatoes ,stir and close the lid.let the palak is cooked in that steam.

when the palak is almost cooked switch of the flame.The purpose of adding Moong dal and sugar(green gram dal)is they help retaining the color of the palak while cooking.

When the mixer is cooled off put this in blender and grind it into paste(not very smooth and even very coarse).In the same above pan add butter,bay leaf,cardamon .After few seconds add the palak paste and stir continuously.

Now add salt according to your taste,whole milk,garam masala and amchur powder.let the gravy simmer for 2-3 minutes.by that time take a pan put very little oil/butter.add remaining onion,cashews and stir fry till it turns brown.now add tomatoes ,green chili and stir fry for 1 minutes.when tomatoes are almost done switch off the flame.

when the gravy is cooked quite a while add paneer cubes and mix it properly.You can keep aside few paneer cubes aside for decoration.let it simmer for 1-2 minutes and switch off the heat.

Decorate this delicious gravy with above fried,onion,cashews,tomatoes and paneer cubes.enjoy eating with your choice of combination.

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