When I say Palak , what is the first curry that comes to your mind – I bet its Palak paneer. Have you imagined your palak paneer look this pretty ?
Are you ready to have the best palak paneer of your life .
Now is the time to make this gorgeous version and flaunt it in front of your family members, friends and guests.
Palak paneer or aloo palak is regular affair at our place and I am sure it’s the same for you. We have all been through disappointments while making this curry . I hear you. The major problem commonly faced is the change of color . Imagine starting with pretty green bunch of palak and seeing it changed to a brownish black something .Let me tell you it doesn’t look appetizing at all .
So now on say bye bye to the weird brownish looking palak paneer that may taste great but such an eyesore and say hello to this gorgeous uber green version of the same , which not only looks great but tastes class apart . Even the folks who despise spinach will give you a thumbs up for this one.
Though this is not the authentic way of making palak paneer , it will surly leave you asking for more.
I call it “ naye zamaane ka naya palak Paneer “
As I always say there is no right or wrong about cooking – only the final outcome matters , which has to be loved by all.
I love experimenting and adding twists to my foods to avoid boredom to set in plus its kind of exciting to play with new flavors .
This curry is –
Super silky texture and feel
Not at all bitter.
Can be made vegan / jain
This version of palak paneer will surly earn you praises and blessings from your loved ones.
This time it was the most evergreen combination for us Palak + Paneer . Don’t you think it’s a match made in heaven. And the addition of sweet corn just gives a splash of color ,perfect crunch and sweetness that this curry needs . Needless to say sweet corn + spinach = killer combination. Soft paneer cubes dunked in this creamy dreamy spinach gravy with bursting sweet corn in every bite , just irresistible .
You can replace paneer with veggies or you can add paneer and veggies – choice is yours.
A big shout to my vegan friends “Tofu instead of paneer tastes fabulous “
Jain folks – Ignore onion and garlic called in the recipe
Suggested combinations –
Potatoes and colorful peppers
Cauliflower , bell peppers , onions and French beans , green peas
Edamame, sweet corn and tofu etc.
So what is the secret behind the lovely green palak paneer
It’s ……… it’s ….wait for it ……..
mayonnaise .. yes you heard it right . I have used vegan version of mayo and I love it. Feel free to use your favorite mayo or thick spread . It imparts an excellent creaminess , richness and taste to the gravy as well as keeps your spinach beautifully green throughout the process of cooking till you savor the last bite of this curry.
And other ingredients that I have added to make it full proof green are some nuts , preferably cashews or blanched almonds and some grated paneer, lemon.
This time I was out of cashews so I has to use pecans .
Addition of basil is excellent too to enhance the color and flavor which I do many a times but this time I didn’t have any on hand . I worked with ingredients available at home without special grocery trip but highly recommend using cashews and basil if possible .
Below is a picture from my archive where I have used basil and cashews to the gravy
But if you don’t have them its fine just follow the recipe and you will still have the best palak paneer ever.
Step by step pictorial instructions followed by recipes and possible substitutions
1) In a large pot steam palak in 1 cup of water , i don’t prefer boiling spinach in a lot of water .Add 1/2 tsp sugar and 2-3 lemon drops to the pot while steaming/boiling. This helps retaining the green color too.
2) once steamed and wilted for 5 mins immediately strain the water in a bowl . Please don’t throw away spinach stock . It can be used to cook this curry and anything leftover can be used to knead the dough or in making soups or dals.
3) After straining put the palak in a bowl full of ice and water – this method of boiling and coolingis called as blanching .. its used to stop the spinach to cook further.
4)Heat oil in a pan , when warm add cumin seeds, asafoetida /hing, onion , ginger galic green chilly paste
5) in the mean time puree the palak paste with cashews/ pecans , milk , grated paneer
6) add it to the pan
7) add mayonnaise
8) and see the magic happen
9) dunk in paneer and sweet corn and drizzle some thinned out yogurt if desired . Serve with roti or rice.
If you happen to try it , which I am sure you will , do send me the pictures as a message on my fb page so that I can publish it under readers success on my facebook page carveyourcraving. And don’t forget to send me your feedback.
- 5 cups loosely packed spinach
- 2 small onions roughly chopped or 1/2 cup puree appox
- 1/2 cup sweet corn optional ,i have used frozen
- 1 tbsp freshly grated garlic
- 2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 green chillies or 2 tsp green chilly paste adjust to your spice level
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 pinch of hing / asafoetida
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 2.5 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 5 cashews or any nuts
- 2 tablespoon milk
- salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon honey optional - i have used
- freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
- 1 cup or more cubed paneer
- In a large pot bring 1 cup water to a boil .
- Add in cleaned washed spinach 1 cup at a time . Press it down with the help of spoon . Then add another cup . Repeat the process of adding spinach and pressing it down gently until you have successfully added all the spinach to the pot. Steam it for 5 minutes or until the spinach has wilted or reduced.
- Strain spinach carefully and save the spinach stock for further use.
- Transfer spinach to a bowl full of ice and some water . This is done to stop further cooking spinach.
- In a pan , add oil , cumin , hing
- Add in onion puree , ginger garlic and stir well . Be careful as the mixture tends to splutter .
- Cook on medium heat stirring occasionally for 1- 2 minutes.
- Add garam masala .
- Meanwhile puree spinach, chillies, nuts, grated paneer and milk together.
- Add the puree to the pan
- Be careful again as the mixture tends to splutter .
- Cook for 30 seconds
- Add mayonnaise and honey and mix well until smooth.
- You can add spinach stock if the gravy is too thick
- Cook for a minute more. Add salt to taste .
- Add in the paneer and sweet corn .
- Cook for a minute and swtch off the flame .
- Add in lemon juice.
- Taste test and make adjustments to the spices if desired
- Serve hot with a side of roti or rice.
Use maple syrup or brown sugar instead of honey Jain version - just skip onion and garlic part. Adding basil - 1/2 cup loosely packed basil puree it along with spinach
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