Thursday, May 15, 2008

easy & healthy palak paneer

you know through the years, i've met so many people who always ask me about indian food. they might not have known a whole lot about the diversity of foods indians prepare but they all seemed to know what palak paneer is. what is it about this creamed spinach that makes everyone turn to mush? i don't know anyone who doesn't love this. it's truly food for the soul.

I am also posting this for my brother who called me one day out of the blue to ask me how to make my palak paneer. i think the fact that i made it for him once under 20 minutes might have had something to do with it.

because i don't normally measure, it's really taking a toll on me to write up recipes constantly using measures, but since he's relatively new at making this, i'm gonna go ahead and give him the recipe rather than my 'dump this then this' version.

you'll find that my recipe is easy, healthy, fast and pretty damn tasty. you won't miss any of the butter, cream or ghee that is used in the restaurant version. oh and hey, the best thing is you have everything at home for this. i promise you. well, you might have to make a run for the paneer.

Easy & healthy palak paneer
serves: 3-4
prep time: 20 min

  • 1 bag of baby spinach
  • paneer, about 16-20 pieces
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 tomatoes cut into large chunks
  • green jalapenos or chillies chopped, to taste, i used 3 jalapenos because we like spicy
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • red chilli powder, to taste
  • 1/2 tspn turmeric
  • 1 tspn garam masala
  • salt to taste
  • 2-3 tbspn oil
the play:
  • heat a pan and add water, spinach, tomatoes and jalapenos
  • once it comes to a boil, simmer for 10 min while you work on the next steps
  • in another pan, heat oil and add cloves, cinnamon stick, onions and garlic saute for 5 min
  • add the chilli powder, turmeric, salt and garam masala
  • puree the spinach mixture using a handblender and add it to the other pan with the onions
  • cover and let simmer for 5 minutes

Notes: if you want it slightly creamy and you're not vegan, go ahead and add a few tablespoons of lowfat yogurt. if you're not watching caloric intake then go for it and add 1/3 cup of cream in the last step.

Listening to: another suggestion from my friend A... 'Eggplant' by Michael Franks from the album, Art of Tea (1976). thanks A! loved this and why wouldn't i? the album title and song title are sooooo groovy!


Uma said...

delicious. palak paneer is all time fav. thanks for the easy reicpe.

first time here. lovely blog.

Hetal said...

palak paneer looks tasty..

Penny said...

oooohhh Alpa, I just finished eating my upma and eggs (I sent you a photo) and now lookie here, DINNER!!!! ok, maybe not tonight, but soon. just as an fyi, I have made my own paneer before, it turned out fab and was very easy to make. don't you just love the way it squeeks on your teeth?

Alpa said...

Uma - Please try it, i promise you can make it in 20 min or less!

Hetal - Thanks for visiting my blog! Please stop by again!

Penny - You really made your own paneer? I'm really impressed!!! I get lazy sometimes and end up buying it frozen from the indian grocery stores. Wow, so not only are you crafty, you're also a gourmet! I wish you lived in Houston!!

LisaRene said...

I agree, palak paneer is a very popular dish and one I often order when eating in an Indian restaurant. I'm glad to hear that your healthier version is just as tasty. Good tip about adding a bit of yogurt.

Madhavi said...

Palak Paneer looks great, lovely post Alpa!!!

Alpa said...

Lisarene - Hi! Yes, the only bit of fat comes from the oil so when i make this at home it's really healthy and the taste is not comprimised.

Madhavi - Thanks for visiting!

Anonymous said...

this looks yummy!

I happen to be a hardcore non-vegetarian, but this is one dish that I simply LOVE! now I have two versions of this...Mum's and now yours...

thank you for the comment on my blog :-)

would you want to exchange links? I've added you to my blogroll....

Alpa said...

Amrita - Welcome to my blog! Thanks for visiting me, I hope you get a chance to try out some of the dishes. Ya, i read that you love your non-veg in one of your posts, but we can still drool over each other's dishes, lol! I will definitely add you to my blogroll :)

catherinerachel20 said...

When are you supposed to add the paneer? xx

Alpa said...

Hi Catherine! Welcome to my little spot in the cyber world!

Sorry about that!! Add the paneer at the very end, in the last few minutes of cooking the spinach. Thanks for catching that!