Winters are not complete without the many spinach or palak recipes that are prepared in this season. My favourite is the palak paneer.
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spinach leaves -cleaned washed -about 250 grams
cumin seeds(jeera)-1 teaspoon
bay leaves- 2
onion -1 small(very thinly sliced)
Garlic and ginger paste - about 2 teaspoons
tomato puree- 2tablespoon
coriander powder-1 teaspoon
chili powder-1 teaspoon
turmeric powder-1 teaspoon
garam masala powder-1 teaspoon
salt -as per taste
Oil-preferably mustard-2 tablespoon
Paneer (cottage Cheese)-250 grams or more-cubed and shallow fried with little salt fried and kept ready
(If you want to see the recipe of soft homemade paneer then click at this link Homemade paneer or cottage cheese)
Cream or grated cheese for garnish
Boil about 2 litres water in a pan and add the leaves. add 2 teaspoon of salt to the water Do not cover the pan. If you cover the pan the leaves will change colour
Let the leaves cook for about 5 minutes,till they wilt and become tender
Once done ,strain out the water and wash the leaves under running cold water.You can alternatively drop the boiled leaves in a pan full of ice cold water and then strain out the leaves after 1 minute.
Grind the leaves once cold in the blender to a smooth puree.Do not add water while grinding.
Start with the gravy
Heat oil in a pan
put in the cumin and the bay leaves
Once the cumin splutters add in the onions saute for a minute
Next add in the Ginger garlic paste
saute for a minute or till the raw smell is gone
add in the salt and the turmeric
Next add the tomato puree
Add the Coriander and chilli powder on the tomato puree and saute for another two minutes or till they release oil.
Add the spinach puree ,Saute for another 5 minutes
Check the seasoning and add the sugar now(You might add little water here to get a thinner consistency) but I like it thick,So I do not add water.
Add in the fried paneer cubes .Do not simmer the gravy for too long after adding the paneer,as the cubes tend to turn leathery.Simmer for only a minute or two
Add in the garam masala and cream ( i have used grated cheese for garnish)
Apart from the tips that I have shared above it is essential to keep the spices on the lower side to maintain the colour of the gravy.It also allows the flavour of the Spinach to dominate.
Adding curd can also change the colour of the gravy,so if you like the tangy taste ,you can use some amchur(drymango powder) too if you feel that the tomatoes are not enough to add the taste.
Be on the lower side on adding the cream for garnish