palak paneer

This is one of my favorite Indian dishes (among many others). Making Indian food at home might seem like an impossible task, but as long as you are brave about the spices and learn how to maximize flavor with a few simple tricks (see below), then you too can create an authentic Indian dish for your dining table.

Serves 4

Ingredients

200g paneer cheese

350g frozen spinach, thawed

1/2 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and smashed

3 large cloves of garlic, smashed

1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

1/3 to 1/2 large red chili (depending on your heat tolerance), roughly chopped

3 tbsp heavy cream or coconut cream

2 tbsp unsalted butter or olive oil

3/4 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/4 tsp red chili flakes or cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

Pinch of sugar

Natural oil such as canola or rapeseed for cooking

Recipe Preparation

Purée chili, ginger, garlic and thawed spinach in a blender. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil/butter in a large frying pan on medium, Sauté chopped onion until caramelized, about 7-10 min. Reduce heat if browning too quickly. Add garam masala, curry powder and chili flakes, then stir to coat and cook until fragrant. This step is crucial to bringing out all the deep flavors (and is applicable to ALL Indian dishes). You should end up with a thick, dark brown paste

Add puréed spinach mixture into the pot with spiced onion paste and stir to combine. Simmer mixture, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cut paneer cheese into 2cm cubes and stir gently into spinach mixture, then cook about 2 minutes. Finally, add heavy cream/coconut cream and stir gently to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Serve warm with basmati rice or naan.

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