The Super Healthy Palak Paneer With Onion Parathas
Palak Paneer is Indian cheese dunked in spinach gravy. Both spinach and paneer are super healthy and wont spike your blood sugar levels. This is a perfect recipe if you want to increase protein intake and also include greens in your diet. In this recipe I have omitted cream and instead added plain yogurt to make the gravy creamier and to make it lighter in calories. Eating this curry can actually make you powerful like Popeye, so its worth a try at least 😉
Traditionally, this curry is made not only with spinach, but also with mustard greens. I couldn’t find mustard greens anywhere so I omitted them. And it did not make much of a difference in the deliciousness of the final product. Also, traditionally, this gravy has added full fat cream or malai in it to make it richer in flavors. But, since I am such a calorie watching freak, I replaced that as well with yogurt. It actually made the gravy so much lighter on stomach and dint make any of us burping afterwards! But feel free to add cream if you prefer.
Addition of onion parathas to the meal was a perfect combination. I wanted to make whole wheat naans, but ran out of time and energy. Onion parathas are quick to make and you won’t feel bored that you are eating your regular roti or parathas. They will definitely keep your enthusiasm high and the combination can easily be used to impress guests without giving them a hint that you didn’t put in a lot of effort 😀 . And thats my friend is called smartness! No kidding, but I do want to try out whole wheat naans one fine day. So keep tuned!
The star of the gravy was super soft, melt-in-mouth homemade paneer! No added preservatives, no unrecognizable ingredients. Just simple milk and lemon juice and you are done. I have stopped buying paneer from store. My hubby did not use to like paneer outside because of the chewy, rubbery texture it got. But, since I started making paneer at home, believe me, he sometimes asks that when are we making paneer next 🙂 .. and thats the magic of everything homemade.
Scroll down for the complete step by step recipe for palak paneer. Do not get scared looking at the long list of ingredients. I agree this curry takes a little bit of time and effort to prepare, but the result is worth it.
Recipe – Makes 4 servings
- Water – 8 cups
- Cinnamon bark – 2
- Bay leaves – 2
- Cloves – 2
- Cardamon pods – 2
- Whole black pepper – 2
- Spinach – 1 bunch
- Oil – 2 tablespoon
- Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Fennel Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Coriander Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Mustard Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Dried red chillies whole – 2
- Asafetida – 1/4 teaspoon
- Fenugreek powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Onion sliced – 1 cup
- Chopped tomatoes – 2
- Ginger sliced – 1 tablespoon
- Garlic paste – 1 tablespoon
- Chopped green chillies – 2 (or to taste)
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Cinnamon powder – A pinch
- Garam masala – 1 teaspoon
- Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons
- Kasuri Methi – 1 tablespoon
- Whisked yogurt – 1/2 cup
- Salt – to taste
- Homemade paneer cubed – 2 cups
- Wash the spinach thoroughly and chop roughly.
- Boil 8 cups of water in a deep sauce pan and add all the whole spices. Boil these spices with water for 10 minutes or until the water reduces to 75% percent of the original quantity. This is to infuse the spices in the water and release their flavors.
- When the water comes to a rolling boil, add washed and chopped spinach leaves. Boil the leaves for 2-3 minutes.
- Switch off the heat and separate the leaves from water. Discard the whole spices. You can keep this water reserved for now. We can actually use it for making water based gravies or even kneading dough.
- Now, add the blanched spinach to a blender and pulse a couple of times. I like my curry chunky and so I did not puree the spinach leaves completely. Just a little bit.
- Next, heat up a griddle and dry roast cumin, fennel, coriander and mustard seeds. Coarsely grind them using a mortar and pestle.
- Now, heat up oil in a non-stick pan and add roasted spices, asafetida and fenugreek powder. Add dry red chillies. Stir for 10-20 seconds and when the seeds start to splutter, add chopped onions. Add ginger juliennes, garlic paste chopped green chillies. Keep sautéing until onions start to brown.
- Next add chopped tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Stir for 5 minutes until onions start to get mushy. Now add rest of the spices : turmeric powder, cinnamon powder, garam masala and coriander powder. Keep sautéing until you can no longer recognize tomatoes. This can take 15-20 minutes. So, be patient with this step.
- Now add spinach and salt to taste. Cover the pan and let it bubble for 10 minutes.
- Add yogurt and kasuri methi next. Stir until yogurt gets incorporated in the curry. This is to thicken the curry a bit and add a little tangy taste to the curry.
- Add paneer cubes and mix gently so that each paneer cube gets coated in the gravy. Lower the flame and cover the pan. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning. Switch off the flame and let it sit for an hour before serving.
- This curry is best enjoyed hot with naan or rotis or rice.
Your turn now!
Do you eat your greens regularly? If you are a vegetarian, do you take enough protein each day?