Indian Night – Paalak Paneer

Paalak PaneerWhen Paul and I were in India two years ago, we were lucky enough to spend some time in the kitchen of our kind and wonderful host in Bharatpur.  He insisted that cooking Indian food was easy and taught us a few simple dishes that we could make at home.  We love cooking Indian food, and it really is easy!  If you’re interested in learning to make Indian recipes, it’s 100% worth a trip to the Indian market to beef up your spice rack.

This recipe was adapted from my favorite Indian cookbook,  Nita Mehta’s Paneer Recipes.

2 bundles of spinach, rinsed
3-4 tbsp ghee, oil, or butter
1 brown cardamom pod, crushed
3-4 cloves, crushed
5-7 peppercorns, crushed
3 onions, chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, chopped
2 medium cloves of garlic, chopped
1 heaping tbsp fenugreek leaves
1 tsp garam masala
3/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp amchoor powder
1 tsp salt
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 recipe of homemade paneer, cubed
1 cup milk

1) Heat oil on medium heat in large skillet or stock pot.  Add brown cardamom, cloves, and peppercorns.  Cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.  Add chopped onions and saute until soft and slightly browned.  Add ginger and garlic. Saute for 1 minute.  Add fenugreek leaves, garam masala, paprika, amchoor powder, and salt.  Cook for 1 minute.  Add chopped tomatoes and cook for another 3-4 minutes until soft.  Add spinach and cook for 10-15 minutes.
2) Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes.  Add the mixture to a blender or food processor and blend with 1/2 cup water until smooth. Return the mixture to the skillet.
3) Add 1 cup milk and the paneer pieces and heat until bubbling.

We typically serve this the traditional way with homemade chapatis or naan (coming soon!) but rice is always a really great option.

Agra Fort. Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. 2012.
Agra Fort. Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. 2012.

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