Monday, March 2, 2015

Paalak/Spinach Paneer Subji!

Paalak Paneer subji
This dish is our family's favourite.  This time we had our own home-grown paalak.  So, I was happier to do it.  The leaves were very tender and the subzi tasted better! Let me tell you how I did it!

Now, to the ingredients:

1.  1 large bunch of paalak/spinach, washed very well.

2.  1/2 tsp. of sugar, 1/2 tsp. of haldi/turmeric powder.

3.  1/2 tsp. Salt.

Ingredients for the paste:

4.  2 Large onions cut into pieces.  Need not cut into small pieces.  This is for grinding, anyway.

5.  3-4 Green chillies.

6.  1/2" Ginger piece.

7.  4-5 Cloves of Garlic

Extra things:

8.   2 tbs. Refined oil

9.   1 tbs.Butter (you can skip this but the butter will enhance the creamy taste.

10. 1/2 tsp. Cumin seeds/Jeera

11. 1/2 to 1 tsp. Garam masala powder (click to get the recipe)

12. 1/2 tsp. Amchur powder

13. 1/4 cup milk

14. 1/2 tsp. Coriander powder

15. 1 tsp. Red chilli powder.

16. 1 tsp. corn flour

17. 200g. pack paneer/cottage cheese, sliced into small cubes.

First step:

Boil the greens with a little salt along with sugar, haldi and 2 cups of water for 2-3 mts.  Cool it. Then grind it a bit. It need not become too pasty.  Just 'drrr...'! This is our language for just turning the mixie 'on' for a second! You can add the corn flour also with this, while grinding.

Second step:

Grind the garlic onion mixture.  Soften the paneer if it was in the freezer and cut into small rectangular pieces. It should not be too soft so that it won't crumble while cooking and stirring. 

Third step:

Place a kadai on the stove.  Pour the oil.
Add cumin seeds.
Once the flavour of the seed starts, add the ground paste. Stir a little.
Add the butter.
Add some salt now.  It will make the onion paste transparent fast.
Once the raw onion flavour leaves from the paste and becomes transparent, add the paneer cubes.  Add the red chilli powder and coriander powder.  Mix it with the mixture. Close the vessel with a lid for one or two minutes, so that the paneer absorbs the masala flavour.
Low flame is better! Be near the stove when you do this! If you leave for long time, it might burn at the bottom of the vessel!

Now,  you can add the ground greens, amchur powder, garam masala powder (my garam masala powder is strong, so, half tsp. is enough.  If it is Everest or something else, one tsp. is needed).  Add enough water (wash the jar with some water and use it!). Cook it till bubbles come out.

Some people like the subji a bit thick and some a bit thinner.  Do it as you please.  Taste it for salt.  Always use less salt in the beginning and add more after tasting, if you are new for cooking! Add milk in the end.  You can add the cream of the milk too, which will make it tastier!

The Paalak paneer subji is ready!

Plucked and washed paalak.  This is from our roof top garden! (link)

Cut paalak with a pinch of sugar, salt and haldi.

2/3 mts. cooked paalak.  If the leaves are very tender 2 mts. is enough.

Onion, garlic, ginger and green chillies for grinding. Grind without adding water!

The ground paste with paneer slices.
Sometimes, I add some capsicum pieces along with paneer.  I love the flavour of capsicum.  Half cooked capsicum is tastier! This is optional, though! 

Hope this recipe is easy to follow.  Please write to me if you liked it or if you need any suggestion, in the comment box.  Your comment will encourage me to write more!


Tip: You can use aloo/potato, boiled with salt, instead of paneer...Aloo Paalak!

Always add a pinch or half tsp. of sugar for all the subzis/currys/rasam etc. to enhance taste, like the Chinese add Ajinomoto!When you cook with tamarind (saambaar) add a small piece of jaggery/gud! Taste will be better.

Likewise, add some salt while frying onion to make it transparent faster!

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