Monday, October 27, 2014

Homemade Palak Paneer

I was that kid who ate her veggies. Well, not always without protests. But my mother somehow managed to convince me to eat my greens without camouflaging it. This dish was one of the few "exotic ways" she agreed to prepare. She learnt this from one of her non-bengali friend and back in those days always used to add homemade paneer instead of the store bought that I use.

This palak paneer is very different than that you get in various Indian restaurants across the globe. Instead of the creamy gravy that we see in the palak panner dish around, here the gravy is coarse and you can bite into the greens. Of course, you can use your blender to blend it and make it smooth. I, however, never do that. I am, in a way, like my Mom. I try my best to have a taste of varied dishes/cuisines but do not go too far that often to make it perfect. Rather,  I like to steer away from being close to "perfection". 


Paneer - 200 gm
Palak/Spinach - 250 gms
Methi/Fenugreek leaves - 100 gms
Onions - 2 medium, chopped lengthwise
Tomatoes - 1 medium, chopped
Ginger paste - 1 teaspoon
Garlic paste -1/2 teaspoon
Red dry chilies - 1 or more as per taste
Green chilies- 1 or more 
Sugar - 1/2 teaspoon
Oil - 1 tablespoon (I used mustard oil)

Cardamom - 4-6 pieces
Clove - 3-4 pieces
Cinnamon - 1'' stick
Fennel - 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste

Clean your greens well under water. My greens were a bit wilted, they have been in the refrigerator for few days.

These are your spices. You can used them in 2 ways. You can dry roast all the spices except fennel seeds for few minutes, till a nice aroma comes, cool it and grind it into powder. Or, like me, you can use them as whole that saves you a wee bit of more time. Either way, life is good.

Cut your paneer in cubes or whatever shape you like.

I like them a bit brown, so I bake them I bake them in oven at 180C for 10-12 minutes. These babies are a bit more brown than I like, I do not know what I was thinking when I set the timer for 15 minutes.

Temper your oil with red dry chilie and  the spices. Add the whole or powdered spices and saute for few minutes. Add the chopped onions, saute it till slight brown. 

Add the tomatoes along with a teaspoon of sugar. This helps to caramelize. 

Add your greens to it and saute for few minutes and leave it covered for couple of minutes more. You could have pre steamed the greens before adding, but really not required.

After the greens have softened and mixed well with the spices, you can cool them and puree the entire onion, tomatoes and greens with few tablespoon of water. Or, you can leave them as it is.

When the greens have mixed well, add the browned paneer cubes, cumin powder, turmeric and salt to it . Cover the lids and cook for few more minutes.

Enjoy your palak paneer with steaming white rice or rotis. 

For BWW, I converted one of the above images to sepia. BWW is a gallery of culinary images started by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook and now looked after by Cinzia of Cindystar. This weeks special edition is being hosted by Lynne of Cafe Lynnylu

Monday, October 13, 2014

Back with Black and White Wednesday

Hi friends. Hope you all are doing well. I apologize for being absent for so long. Summer has really been busy but lots of fun. It was a tiny bit busy at work front too. Now that rush is over I hope to have a better attendance in this space of mine. And what can be a better way to be back than Black and White Wednesday, I simply love it.

I am back from my home city only last weekend after a ten days log break- a part of it was spend in celebrating homecoming of our favorite Goddess Durga. You can read here too. Going back home after ten long months means you are pampered with both delicious homemade foods and chatpata street foods too. Of course, I did not cook for these long days, and was fed by my Maa and Mom-in-law. Maybe, I will do a food-post soon.

This is a pic of what we call "patisapta". It is usually a crepe made with rice flour and semolina with coconut filing. The shredded coconut has been mixed with jaggery over low flame till it becomes sticky and brownish in color. You can also use sugar/brown sugar instead of jaggery. I simply love it so much, my mother makes it every time I visit home.

Crepe with coconut filing

And this is my this week's contribution to black and white Wednesday -  a medley of culinary images, hosted this week by Sreevalli of Ammaji Kitchen. BWW was started by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook and is currently taken care by Cinzia of Cindystar Blog. For participation click here.

Hope you are having a wonderful festive season and the enjoying the nice fall weather.