My knowledge on North Indian foods is through restaurants, internet and my neighbors only. My neighbor aunty from Gujarat, prepares all the vegetarian foods of North India, just like restaurant made. I like the way she includes butter and ghee in the foods and I totally agree with her that her foods have good nutrition, just like mine :) We try to share our best foods frequently and will exchange recipes. I think I am very lucky, to get her as my friend, as I am growing my cooking skills with her guidance. She elaborates me the traditional way to arrive at a recipe and also the best short cuts using masala powders.
Making palak keerai in a traditional North Indian pattern is a popular recipe. But if you want to make a palak paneer which tastes like restaurant-made in a jiffy, then here is one of our versions of palak paneer and hope you all love it!
|Cooking the spinach with all the masala|
Spinach - 1 large bunch (doesn't matter if it is excess or lesser)
paneer - 15 pieces (Cubed)
butter - 4 tbsp
salt - to taste
red onion - 1 (big)
sugar - 1 tsp
tomato puree - 1 cup
ginger - 1 inch
garlic - 5 pieces
green chillies - 3
cilantro - handful
fresh methi leaves - few (optional)
cinnamom - 1 inch
cloves - 3
fennel - 1 tsp
cumin - 1 tsp
kasoori methi - 1 tbsp
whole milk - 1 cup
Cut the paneer into small cubes of 1 inch size. Heat 1 tbsp ghee / butter in a frying pan. Fry the paneer cubes and take out. keep this aside.
Coarsely chop onion.
In the frying pan, add some more butter (2 tbsp).Add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, fennel , cumin and add the chopped onion, sugar. Fry till onion turns golden. Then add chopped ginger, garlic, whole green chillies, few fresh methi leaves (if available), cilantro and fry till they wilt.
Then add a cup of tomato puree (or chopped fresh tomato) and cook well.
Clean the spinach leaves and remove the thick stems.
Put the spinach and cook for 1 minutes. Switch off.
Add required salt and let cool.
Then grind to a medium fine puree with whole milk.
Return this to the frying pan and cook till raw smell goes (5 minutes). If needed add little more water.
Then add the fried paneer pieces and mix well.
Crush some kasoori methi (dried fenugreek / methi leaves) and switch off !
If needed add some more molten butter while serving.
Palak paneer is ready!
Serve as side dish with chapati, naan, pulka.