Saturday, August 01, 2009

Palak Paneer

This recipe is for my friend Liana ... it is always wonderfully flattering when someone asks me for a recipe! (Enjoy).

First make the paneer (fresh cheese):

1.2 litres milk
2 tablespoons natural yoghurt
2-3 teaspoons lemon juice

Bring the milk to boiling point in a large saucepan, then stir in the yoghurt. Reduce heat and add lemon juice, stirring until large soft curds form and the liquid around them becomes clear. Turn off the heat. Sieve the contents of the pan and leave the paneer to drain for a few minutes in the fridge. (The whey collected can be used as a liquid stock for curries or soups - it will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days).

Then cook the palak (spinach):

2 bunches of fresh English spinach
paneer (as above - cut into small cubes)
2 onions, grated
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon garlic, grated
3 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon cumin powder
salt to taste
garam masala to taste
red chilli powder to taste

Wash the spinach thoroughly, then cook (steam, boil, or microwave) it and allow to cool. Mash the spinach in a blender. Heat oil on a pan, add the ginger and garlic and stir fry for a minute. Add onions and fry till golden brown. Add all spices. Add the spinach, and a little water if needed, and cook 4-5 minutes. Add paneer pieces to spinach mixture and cook a bit longer (paneer can be fried to golden brown first if desired, or just used as is). Serve hot with naan, parathas or chapattis.

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