Palak paneer

Palak paneer

Palak paneer
Palak paneer (served with chicken rogan josh and basmati rice)

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!

Palak paneer
(Serves 4)
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!