Palak paneer

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Just a quick one to share tonight, as it’s late. This recipe is adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s Chicken Palak recipe in his Great Escapes book. I’m dubious about how authentic it is because, well…. it’s Gordon Ramsay,….. and I just don’t trust this man?! Sorry Gordon. But I wanted to cook a palak curry and when I researched it a little found that every recipe was so vastly different that I just stuck with the one I had in a book in front of me. I decided it couldn’t hurt to tinker with it, given that the ‘proper’ version was so elusive – right? Right! Because, in my book, if it tastes good, I’m onto a winner. Apologies if this isn’t the most authentic palak, and please let me know if you can shed some light on what on earth an authentic palak is! This is delicious, whatever it’s called!

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I substituted Gordon’s chicken for paneer, because I love the stuff (probably a veggie days hangover) and chucked in some peas for good measure, plus replaced his tomatoes for yoghurt – because I think spinach needs a touch of luxury. PS – what’s happened to spinach? Kale and chard are all the rage, but I think spinach still rocks, even if it’s a little bit 2007.

A word on the recipe – I doubled (!) the quantity of spinach because I wanted to be all healthy and eat lots of spinach. It was yummy, but would have certainly been yummier if I’d also doubled the quantity of spices (the mass of spinach slightly weakened the flavour). I’ve given you my recipe I cooked but with half the spinach – as Gordon intended it!

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You will need:

200g paneer cheese
500g fresh spinach
2 tbspns butter
1 cinnamon stick
8 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 tspn cumin seeds
3 cloves
1 white onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 chillis, chopped
1/2 tspn turmeric
1 tspn ground coriander
2 tspn garam masala
1 tspn chilli powder
2 tbspn natural yoghurt, plus extra to serve
Handful of frozen peas, optional
Salt
Rapeseed oil
Water, as needed

Method:

1 – Cook the spinach by placing in a deep saucepan with a touch of oil; cook gently for a few minutes until wilted and then blend
2 – Now move on to your spices; dry fry the cumin seeds, peppercorns and cloves til fragrant; grind using a mortar and pestle
3 – Now heat the butter in the pan and once slightly browned, tip the ground spices, plus the cinnamon and bay; cook for a minute before tipping in the onions
4 – Brown the onions over a medium heat til just crisp, then add the garlic, chilli and ginger; fry for a minute or so
5 – At this stage, cube your paneer and add to the pan; coat well with the spicy onion mix and then tip in the spinach plus a little water; stir in the coriander, chilli powder and garam masala
6 – Simmer the curry for around 10 minutes, adding water if necessary to form a nice thick sauce that surrounds the paneer; add the peas, if using, a few minutes before it’s done and stir in the yoghurt right at the end
7 – Serve with coriander leaves, extra yoghurt and plain rice

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10 thoughts on “Palak paneer

    1. Ooh really?? I’m so intrigued by that- I suppose the whole texture just becomes really soft? I can imagine it would be lovely served with bread, to dip as opposed to rice, if its all puréed?

  1. I love palak paneer. Gordon’s recipe is sort of authentic, as far as I know (being a white girl!) but the recipe I’m familiar with calls for the spinach to be blanched then either pureed or chopped finely before adding it to the final dish with either cream or yoghurt. There’s usually the addition of tomatoes, like in Gordon’s recipe also. I love your variation though, as I love vegetables in their chunky glory. Looks delicious!! xxx

    1. Ah, good to know! I’m glad I was cooking a complete monster of a dish. Interesting that tomatoes are a usual addition – I felt they’d be really out of place here but maybe I need to try it before I dismiss them! X

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. Hey! Lovely blog! Glad you found mine so that I could in turn- find yours!

    I have a cookbook by an Indian chef from Vancouver named Vikram Vij. You can see it and click a link for it, in my “bookshelf”. In that book there is a very simple recipe for making your own paneer! This will be my next experiment come December!

    Have fun :)

    Ashley

    1. oo that sounds great, I’ll have to check it out – I’ve heard it’s incredibly easy to make, just like labneh is! I look forward to seeing how you get on with that challenge, Good luck!x

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