Palak Paneer – Indian Spinach and Cheese
Yield: 4 Servings
4 cups frozen spinach, thawed
1 medium tomato
5 large garlic cloves, 3 peeled and left whole and 2 peeled and diced
1-inch piece of ginger
1 green chili or jalapeño
1 tablespoon oil, I used avocado
1 large onion, finely diced
½ cup water
1-2 teaspoons Tijerina Global Spice Garam Masala (any Garam Masala will do for now)
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream or plain yogurt
1 block, 8 oz. paneer, cut into cubes
½ tablespoon kasuri methi, crushed, dried fenugreek leaves (I typically do not have this on hand, and it is difficult to find, so a fine substitute is celery leaves. Yes! Finally, some use for them other than broth!)
Fresh squeezed lemon juice, to taste, about 1 tablespoon
- In a blender add the spinach, tomato, 3 whole garlic, ginger and green chili/jalapeño. Puree to a smooth paste and set aside.
- Heat a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the oil and then add the remaining 2 cloves of diced garlic. Sauté for few minutes until it starts brown, then add the diced onion.
- Cook the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Add in the prepared spinach puree and water and stir.
- Cover the pan and let it cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. The spinach will bubble a lot. Stir at regular intervals to avoid sticking to the bottom and burning.
- After about 10 minutes add the garam masala, turmeric powder, cayenne and salt, mix and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the heavy cream or yogurt and paneer and stir. Let simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, taste and add lemon juice and kasuri methi (celery leaves) and stir.
- Salt to taste and serve just like this or with a side of Saffron Rice.
**Vegan variation, substitute Paneer for Tofu and use a non-dairy cream/yogurt