Spinach with Indian Cottage Cheese is a traditional Indian dish with Indian spices transforming boring spinach into a vibrant vegetarian green dish. The Palak paneer is a nice Indian cottage cheese addition. But if you use tofu instead, you end up with a delicious, fulfilling vegan meal.
Spinach with Indian Cottage Cheese (Palak Paneer)
Recipe developed by Diet Desires.
- 9 oz fresh spinach, (2 bunches), chopped*
- 2 TBSP butter, divided
- 1 TBSP Canola oil, divided
- 4 Jalapenos, vines and seeds removed*
- 1.3 oz whole cashews
- ½ cup water, divided
- ½ tsp cumin seeds or ¼ tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp cardamom
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp ginger, grated
- 1 cup onions, finely chopped
- 2 tsp garlic, minced
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1-2 tsp garam masala to taste
- Optional: 1 tsp kashoori methi, dried fenugreek leaves
- 5.3 oz paneer, Indian cottage cheese, cubed
- Optional to serve: 3 TBSP cream and brown rice
- Wash and drain the spinach, cut off the stems. Dry the leaves in a kitchen towel. Chop them 2 inches wide. (Defrost frozen spinach, if using.)
- Heat ½ TBSP oil and 1 TBSP butter in a 10-inch skillet. Sauté peppers, cashews and spinach for 3 to 4 mins until the leaves wilt off thoroughly. (If you using frozen spinach, skip sautéing.) Cool mix completely.
- In a blender blend the spinach mix and ¼ cup water to a smooth puree.
- Heat the other ½ TBSP oil and 1 TBSP butter in the same skillet. Once they melt, add cumin seeds, cardamoms and cinnamon.
- When the spices begin to sizzle, add onions and fry till it turns transparent.
- Add tomatoes. Sauté for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile cube the store bought paneer and immerse cubes in 2 cups hot water for 10 mins. Drain before using them.
- Add garam masala to the tomato mix and sauté 2 minutes. Pour in the other ¼ cup water and cook covered for 3 minutes.
- Lower the heat and mix in pureed spinach. Cook for another 5 minutes. (Adjust with water, if needed.)
- Add drained paneer and mix well. Serve the dish I bowls over rice, or with Naan bread. (Optional: garnish with cream.)