Why It Works
- Blending the cooked spinach although it is really incredibly hot yields a smoother purée.
- Frying the paneer presents it extra taste and texture.
- Blooming the cumin and mustard seeds in very hot oil attracts out oil-soluble flavors and aromas.
Palak paneer is anything I grew up having. I’m from a Punjabi spouse and children, so my mother regularly manufactured it at dwelling. But palak paneer was also a fixture of celebratory foods and instances, and we’d provide it every time family members customers or cousins arrived to visit—it’s really exclusive for us Punjabis. It is almost always provided as part of the menu for Punjabi weddings I can not definitely recall a one marriage I have attended the place palak paneer wasn’t served.
This specific recipe is my mother’s, and I like her variation the best in portion for the reason that it is really so basic. There are not any additional spices, which lets the spinach taste glow. The creamy spinach sauce has a contact of garlic and chile to deepen its flavor and make it additional fascinating, and it complements the chunks of paneer completely. I fry the paneer in ghee to give it some texture and include a layer of taste, and a smaller quantity of product towards the end ties every little thing with each other fantastically.
When I moved the British isles, I encountered for the to start with time saag aloo, a dish of puréed spinach and chunks of potato, which I assume have to have been inspired by or derived from palak paneer. I have to acknowledge I failed to treatment for it quite considerably I was stunned by the substitution of potato for paneer, and the identify was a very little complicated to me, mainly because I’d only read “saag” applied to refer to sarson, or mustard leaves. The saag aloo I tried using also tasted really diverse from the palak paneer I ate growing up the restaurants additional so significantly a lot more to the spinach sauce—onion, garam masala, and so on.—which adjusted the character of the dish totally. Although it may nonetheless be mouth watering to eat, it’s extremely distinct from palak paneer.
The recipe I am sharing in this article is nearer to my plan of a “legitimate” palak paneer, and I hope you test it, if only so you can see how the subtle use of spices can from time to time increase a lot additional to a dish than using everything in your spice box.
The method is pretty basic: I wilt the spinach leaves by cooking them with a small water in a lined pot, then purée them in a blender. I fry the paneer in some oil in one more pan, set the paneer apart, and in the identical pan I warmth some oil with whole mustard and cumin seeds right until the seeds start to pop, at which point I incorporate a minimal minced garlic. I pour the purée into the pan, time it with salt and chile powder, insert the fried paneer and a contact of cream, blend, and provide with some form of piping very hot flatbread—chapati, roti, naan, or parathas all would work nicely.