Palak Paneer

First, let me be clear: this is just my take on a palak paneer after ordering it so often off Indian restaurant menus. It’s probably in no way authentic, but I do think it’s delicious. And it satisfies my craving without turning to takeaways.

As a vata-pitta, too many leafy greens aren’t great for me, which is why I haven’t gone with the traditional all-spinach option. Feel free to use whichever greens you fancy or suit you best instead of the ones I’ve suggested below. Silverbeet and broccoli would work well.

Palak paneer

Serves two
  • 2 big handfuls x green beans
  • 2 TBSP x ghee
  • 1/2 x leek, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 x garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2-cm knob x ginger, finely chopped or grated
  • 1/2 tsp x ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp x coriander seeds, freshly ground
  • 1 1/2 tsp x cumin seeds, freshly ground
  • 1/2 tsp x black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 big handfuls x spinach leaves
  • Big pinch x sea salt
  • Juice of 1/2 x lime or lemon
  • 1 TBSP x dried fenugreek leaves (methi)
  • 200 g x paneer, preferably homemade, cut into 2-cm cubes
  • 2 TBSP x fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • Cooked basmati rice, to serve (optional)

Instructions

If you’re serving the curry with rice, start cooking it before making the palak paneer, which doesn’t take long.

For the palak paneer, bring a medium pot of water to the boil. Add the green beans and simmer until soft. Drain the beans, reserving the water, and set aside.

Return the pot to the stove over a medium heat and add 1 TBSP of ghee. Sauté the leek, garlic and ginger until soft. Add the spices and continue to cook until the spices are toasted and fragrant without letting them burn. If they start to get too dark, add a bit of the reserved bean water to the pan.

Add the spinach and salt, stir, then reduce the heat to low and cook for a few minutes until the spinach wilts. Remove from the heat, and add in the cooked beans. Blend with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth, adding enough reserved bean water until you reach a thick and creamy texture, then stir in the lime or lemon juice and fenugreek leaves. Set aside.

For the paneer, heat the remaining TBSP of ghee in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Cook the paneer pieces on all sides until golden, then add to the pan with the green curry sauce. Stir until the paneer pieces are coated in sauce, then serve over rice with a sprinkling of coriander leaves.

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