While watching the Discovery Travel & Living channel, I got to know that Palak Paneer is a royal dish. I was wondering how some green leaves paste would be called so. The explaination however went on to about the combination of cottage cheese and cream in a mildly spiced palak puree. I then realized that it is indeed royal. To be specific Palak Paneer is a Mughalai cuisine. As usual, I wanted give a twist to it by adding some Kasuri Methi or dried fenugreek leaves and I found that the recipe already exists and therefore the Methi Palak Paneer.
Palak / Spinach leaves – 1 bunch (30 – 40 leaves)
Cottage Cheese / Paneer – 200 gms
Kasuri Methi / Dried Fenugreek leaves – 1 1/4 tsp
Tomato – 1 or 2
Onion – 1 big
Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Oil – 2 tbsp
Cream or milk – ¼ cup
Chilly powder – 1 tsp
Pepper powder – ¼ - ½ tsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Green chilly – 1
Salt - to taste
Blanch the palak leaves – Boil adequate salted water to immerse the leaves. Place the leaves in the water until it is wilted (about 2 minutes). Drain the water. Take out the leaves, cut in into 2 or 3 pieces and grind it to a fine paste.
Soak the kasuri methi for 2-3 minutes. Wash twice and keep it aside.
Cut the paneer into small cubes. Heat oil in a pan and lightly fry the paneer in low -medium heat. Drain the paneer and place it in the milk or water. This prevents the paneer from turning rubbery. To the remaining oil, add the onion and sauté till translucent. Add the green chilly, ginger and garlic paste. Saute for a minute and add the chilly, garam masala and pepper powder. Add ¼ tsp pepper powder and if need be add the remaining ¼ tsp at the end, while checking for seasoning. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and sauté till it turns soft. Add salt. Pour the palak paste, kasuri methi and ¼ cup water and bring it to a boil. Stir in the fried paneer pieces. Turn to low heat and add the milk or cream. Check seasoning and simmer for 5 – 7 minutes. Tastes good with any kind of roti or naan and also with rice and dal.