Palak paneer (aka saag paneer)

Adapted from Spice Cravings and Kitchen of Debjani

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon ghee (ghee / coconut oil blend)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1/2 inch ginger, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup onion (1 medium onion, chopped)
  • 1 green chili (optional: Habanero)
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (thought I had it, but it was actually milder Madras curry powder)
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder (I used paprika!)
  • 12 oz. baby spinach (2 boxes of organic)
  • 1 cup water
  • 100 ml. fresh cream
  • 10 oz. paneer, 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tsp. kasuri methi (I couldn’t find)

Directions:

  1. Heat a deep sauce pan on medium high heat.
  2. Add oil and cumin seeds (I used black mustard seeds instead). When the seeds begin to sizzle, add crushed ginger and garlic.  Add sliced onion and green chili, and sauté for a minute. Add the tomato.
  3. Add salt, spices and stir well. Then, add 3/4 cup water, stir, cover the pan and cook for about 5-7 minutes on medium heat.
  4. Open the lid and add 1/2 the baby spinach and stir to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining spinach and wilt for around 2 minutes. Sauté for another minute. Turn off the heat.
  5. Using a hand blender puree the spinach mix.  Add a little water if needed. Add 1/2 the cream.
  6. Turn the heat back on to medium, add paneer cubes and simmer for 1 min, till paneer cubes become soft. Turn off the heat. Stir in butter and the other 1/2 cream, this adds a silky smooth finish to the sauce, and gives it a gorgeous shine.
  7. Serve hot with cumin basmati rice or naan. Enjoy!

No Insta Pot here, I’m afraid. We made na’an to go with it! Baking adventures. It was an adventure finding a Pakistani store on the day before Puerto Rican Independence Day, to find frozen paneer. Also since we had less spinach, we added a couple of parboiled potatoes, so… palak aloo paneer! Coming up next: the na’an recipe.

~Jessica

Butter paneer masala

Adapted from Padhu’s Kitchen and Sanjeev Kapoor

Butter
2 Onions
Ginger-garlic paste
-250 g Tomatoes, chopped (I used 500 g)
200 g Paneer (I used smoked tofu)
50 g Cashew nuts, soaked in boiling water for 15 min, ground to a paste
Fenugreek leaves, dry (if you can find, I couldn’t)
Salt to taste
Garam masala, Coriander, Turmeric powder
Cinnamon, 2 Cloves,  1 Cardamom pod, Dried red chilies

Garnish
Fresh cream
Finely chopped cilantro leaves (wish I had!)

Heat butter, and saute cloves, cinnamon stick, red chilies, and cardamom. Stir-fry and brown the onions, then the ginger-garlic paste. Add the cashew paste. Add coriander powder, red chili powder, and tomatoes. Cook on high. Puree. Cook the paneer, and add it. Remove from heat and add cream.

~Jessica

Matar paneer

Adapted from Spice Up The Curry and Edible Garden

Ingredients:

400 g green peas, boiled 2-3 min (I used frozen)
175 g paneer, cubed (I used smoked tofu instead)
1 lemon
ghee (if you have it, otherwise I used butter)
2 large onions
2.5 cm ginger, grated
1 garlic, minced
chopped, ripe tomatoes
2 small green chilies, chopped

Spices
1 pinch of kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) — I didn’t have
garam masala, cumin, turmeric, red chili, coriander
salt to taste

Garnish
1 spoonful of cream
cilantro
50 g Cashews, soaked in water for 30 min.

Directions:

  1. Fry any spices (that you have whole) and chilis in oil/butter. Saute onion, ginger, garlic until fragrant. Season with salt.
  2. Add tomatoes. Add your powdered spices now and cook until the liquid evaporates.
  3. Grind soaked cashews into a paste with some water.
  4. Fry the paneer separately, then add this to the sauce with the peas and cashew paste.
  5. Add the cream and cilantro.
  6. Serve hot.

Smoked tofu is extra-firm and ideally smoked in tea leaves, but I don’t taste it much. Very similar to dry tofu, but lighter in flavor. Serving suggestions: Mater paneer masala can be served with roti, paratha, or naan; if served with plain rice, thin the sauce.

~Jessica