This is one of our favourite dishes at home. It started when we moved to Australia and found that restaurants here serve this a lot. As I grow up in Singapore, we are very familiar with South Indian food, but not North Indian food. Paneer cheese is a North Indian cheese.
When Daughter Who was a teenager, she swung from diet to diet. There times she wanted to be vegetarian, and this dish fits perfectly. She still loves palek paneer. If you switch the cheese out for lamb, we get another very popular dish: sagwala, another dish we love.
My version is pretty simple, and can be done in 30 minutes. The secret is not to boil the spinach with any lid, at any time, so that the leaves will never turn yellow. The second secret is to make sure you do not over boil or underboil the spinach.
The spinach should not be blanched more than a minute or two before it is blended. When mixing the blended spinach with the rest of the ingredients, like all curries, always wait for oil to exude from the curry before calling it done.
That’s all there is to Saag Paneer or Palek Paneer. Not really difficult.
- Mei Wok
- 1 tbsp Ghee Or clarified butter
- 3 cloves Garlic
- .5 Big Onion Diced
- 3 Medium Tomatoes Diced
- 2 small chillies Quantity as preferred
- 5 cups Spinach leaves
- 1 tsp Ginger Grated
- 3 units Cloves
- 3 units Cardamon
- 1 stick Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Ground turmeric powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- In a large pot of boiling water, add the spinach and boil for 1 minutes. Do not cover the pot. Drain leaves and put them into the blender.
- Heat up the wok and add ghee, turn to medium heat.
- Add the spices, when the smell fills the kitchen, move on to the next step.
- Add the onion, garlic, ginger and chillies. Add a bit of salt, so that it cooks faster
- When the onions turn yellow, add tomatoes.
- When the skin of the tomatoes start to come off the flesh, transfer the mixture into the blender.
- Blend the curry mixture with the spinach.
- Return the mixture to the wok.
- Heat the curry until you can see oil on the surface of the curry.
- Slice the paneer cheese and stir in.
- You can add cream if you like, and top with tomatoes.