When Michael and I were in Washington earlier this month, we stopped by Appel Farms in Ferndale and bought some paneer. Paneer is a delicious cheese that is used in Indian dishes — it doesn’t melt, so it is often cubed and then simmered in flavorful sauces.
The cheese made it safely back home in my carry-on bag, and I decided to use some of it to make palak paneer, which is one of my favorite Indian dishes. In this dish, paneer is simmered in a spinach and tomato-based sauce, with yogurt added at the end for a creamy flavor. I served it with chicken rogan josh, basmati rice, and naan bread. It was delicious!
By Jane and Michael’s Gourmet Extravaganza (Adapted from the Best Ever Indian Cookbook)
- 1 Tbsp of canola oil
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 2-3 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp of ground peppercorns
- 2 small bay leaves
- 1 1/3 cups of crushed tomatoes
- 10 ounces of frozen chopped spinach
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 inch of fresh ginger root, minced (about the same volume as the garlic)
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/3 cup of plain Greek yogurt
- 3/4 lb of paneer cheese, cut into cubes
Heat 1 Tbsp of canola oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the curry and chili powders, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until the spices become aromatic. Stir in the bay leaves and crushed tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, thaw and drain the frozen spinach. Combine the spinach, minced garlic, and minced ginger in a blender (or food processor) and puree until well mixed. Stir the blended spinach mixture and 1 1/4 cups water into the tomato sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the spinach is cooked. Add more water to thin the sauce if necessary.
Stir in 1/3 cup of plain Greek yogurt, then gently stir in the cubed paneer. Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the paneer is warmed through. Serve with rice and/or naan and enjoy!