There is seemingly no end to the delicious things you can do with paneer, and here is another one to add to your list. Palak paneer, or paneer bhaji in Gujarati, is cubes of fried paneer simmered in a lush spinach sauce flavoured with fenugreek, onion and plenty of ginger.
Comforting and healthy, this curry has plenty of iron, so if you’re vegetarian and feeling a bit peaky, it’s a nice change from lentils or pulses. Scoop up with freshly made soft rotlis / rotis with yoghurt or pickle on the side.
Palak Paneer – serves 2
1 x 225g block of paneer
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 large bag of spinach (250g bag)
1 inch piece of ginger
2 cloves of garlic
vegetable or light olive oil
1/4 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp of ground coriander
1 tsp of ground cumin
1/2 tsp – 1 tsp of red chilli powder (to your taste)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon of dried fenugreek / methi*
1 fresh tomato, diced
Cut the paneer in to small cubes and fry in a little oil in a wide saucepan, Fry until golden brown on as many sides as you have the patience to wait for to go brown! Drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and 1/2 tsp of chilli powder.
Finely chop the onion, ginger and garlic and fry in the saucepan until the onion is softened (alternative you can blitz all this in a food processor). About 5 minutes. Add in the spices and stir fry for a few minutes.
Pulse the spinach in batches (don’t process too finely) in a food processor and then add the spinach and the fenugreek to the onion mixture. Stir in the paneer, salt, tomato and add about 100ml of water. Simmer uncovered for a minute or so and then put the lid on and slowly simmer for around 15 minutes on a very low heat. The curry is cooked when the paneer is soft and the spinach has wilted away to a thick sauce.
Taste, season and serve with rotli and pickles.
*if you can’t find dried fenugreek leaves you can use a pinch of fenugreek seeds, available in most supermarkets.