Palak paneer is one of the most popular vegetarian dishes in North India. It is a delicious paneer dish with spinach based thick gravy. This dish is most preferred in Punjab region during winter when fresh spinach is available. Traditionally many north Indian spices are used to make this mouth-watering dish. But here this palak paneer (Palong paneer – Oops!! My Bengali pronunciation) is something different and you will definitely like this.
People prefer palak paneer with roti, naan (Indian bread) or even rice (plain rice, jeera rice, peas rice, pulao etc) in lunch or dinner. Most of the restaurants who offer north Indian food will definitely offer palak paneer.
Normally tomatoes are not used in palak paneer (palong paneer in Bengali) but here perfectly ripe tomatoes are used to make it special. If you want to get traditional flavor then you can avoid tomatoes to add in this dish.
In north India, roadside dhabas are very popular for such dishes at a reasonable price. People always enjoy their lunch and dinner with roti and rice and some of those traditional north Indian dishes like palak paneer, shahi paneer, kadai paneer, dal makhani, paneer butter masala, kofta etc.
As you know during winter spinach (or Palak in Hindi and Palong in Bengali) is the most favorite leafy vegetable in many parts of India. In some region like Punjab, mustard leaves are also very favorite and this leafy vegetable is also used to make many dishes. In West Bengal, Bihar and Odisha, there are so many other leafy vegetables which are also very popular. So you can say almost every people actually like such leafy vegetables and particularly during winter as so many such fresh leafy vegetables are available. So people often make such dishes in winter at home too.
Okay, now coming to this particular palak paneer dish (palong paneer in Bengali), additional tomatoes are added here and some other ingredients (onion, ginger, garlic, red chilli powder. cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala and kasuri methi) are used to make it super delicious. Lemon juice is added to get little extra sour taste and fresh cream is added to give extra shine and bring little lighter color. Butter helps to bring more shine and mouthwatering flavor.
Palak paneer recipe
- Spinach / palak - 1.5 cups, chopped
- Paneer/cottage cheese - 200 gm, cut into small pieces
- Tomatoes - 2 medium size, puree
- Onion / pyaz - 1 large size, paste
- Ginger / adrak - 1 inch, paste
- Garlic / lahsun - 6-7 cloves, paste
- Red chilli / lal mirch powder - 2 tsp
- Cumin / jeera powder - 2 tsp
- Coriander / dhania powder - 1.5 tsp
- Garam masala - 1.5 tsp
- Kasuri methi - 2 tsp, crushed properly
- Lemon juice - 1.5 tsp
- Oil - 1 tbsp
- Butter - 2 tbsp
- Fresh cream - 2 tbsp
- Salt - as needed
- Water - as needed
- Heat 1 tbsp oil & 1 tbsp butter in cooking pan and add ginger garlic paste
- Now add onion paste, add some salt as needed and fry for 4-5 minutes
- Add tomato puree too and cook till it releases oil and color turns darker
- Now add all spices powder (cumin, coriander, red chilli and garam masala) and mix with all other ingredients in that cooking pan
- Now add spinach/palak puree* and mix with all other ingredients, let it cook in low flame for 7-8 minutes and stir after each 2 minutes
- When it will release oil and cooked perfectly then add ½ cup of water and boil for 3-4 minutes
- Now add paneer pieces, lemon juice and kasuri methi one by one, adjust consistency, thickness and switch off the flame
- Add fresh cream and butter and mix with yummy palak paneer and serve hot
Store drained hot water for further use in this dish or free to use in other dishes as vegetable stock