One of my all time favourite Indian recipes is Palak Paneer (puréed spinach and cheese). Which means it’s one of the Indian recipes we’ve tried at home and now, after a few goes, it’s one of our regulars. How could it not be with so much spinach and silverbeet growing in the garden? And for the record, the photo above is taken after I harvested enough silverbeet for gozleme and Palak Paneer. The plants keep regrowing so this crop will last for months. I love silverbeet.
Here’s the recipe:
– 1 medium, chopped onion
– 1 clove crushed garlic
– 1/2 inch grated ginger
– chopped chilli (quantity depending entirely on your tolerance for heat)
– 1 tsp garam masala
– chopped stems of silverbeet
2) When soft, add:
– chopped silverbeet (a large bunch – or 500 grams of frozen spinach)
– 1 large tomato, chopped
3) Lower heat and cook 20-30 minutes until spinach is paste like. If you used a lot of stems (this is a great recipe to use of extra stems where the leaves went elsewhere) you can to purée your palak. At this point your palak is normally really shocking green. Since we had a lot of stems left over from making gozleme, this batch is more dull green. The taste is fine but I prefer the real green from a purely ascetic point of view.
4) Dust paneer with a bit of flour and fry until brown. We actually normally use haloumi – any hard, white cheese that can be fried without melting will work.
5) Add paneer to the palak, stir through and serve with naan bread (my preference) or rice.
I made naan bread by using a yeast-based basic white bread dough. I rolled out the dough (after the first rising) a little thicker than a pizza dough. The dough went on normal baking trays dusted with polenta in a hot oven (start as hot as the oven will go – lower the temperature to 200 C when the bread goes in) for about 8 minutes or until just golden brown.
The original palak paneer recipe called for 2 cups of vegetable oil (I kid you not and real Indians use ghee!). I will leave it to the reader’s discretion to decide how much oil is necessary to make this recipe tasty.