Paneer is Indian cottage cheese and it is main ingredient of many Indian dishes. You can make curries, tikkis and many more recipes using paneer. You can buy paneer from any Indian grocery store or you can make your own at home.
Paneer don’t melt or get gooey the like mozzarella or cheddar cheese, so you can stir paneer chunks into a soup or creamy curry, crumble it over a flatbreads, or even skewer cubes onto kebabs and the paneer will keep its shape and chewy texture.
Paneer is a type of fresh cheese, no aging or culturing required. It’s also one of the easiest cheeses to make at home. All you need is milk, lemon juice or vinegar, and a bit of salt to season. When you mix the milk and lemon juice, the acidity in the lemon juice will cause the milk to separate into curds and whey. Remove the whey and press the curds, and you have a simple, basic cheese.
Palak Paneer is likely the most popular paneer dish from North India. Creamy spinach with tasty paneer makes a delicious main dish. This is one of my favourite paneer dishes. Palak paneer is gluten free. It can also be made using tofu instead of paneer to make it vegan. The gravy for this palak paneer is made using spinach and spinach is very healthy because it is low in fat and even lower in cholesterol. Spinach is high in niacin and zinc, as well as protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese. In other word, it’s loaded with good things for every part of your body!
Usually paneer is first shallow fried and then added to the gravy but to make it healthy, I have avoided that step and directly added the fresh paneer to gravy. You can enjoy this healthy and delicious palak paneer with chapati, naan, paratha or rice. I like to enjoy my palak paneer with brown rice.
Healthy Palak Paneer Recipe
- 6 Cup spinach
- 1 Cup paneer, cubed
- 1 Big onion, finely chopped
- 2 Tomato, finely chopped
- 4-5 Garlic cloves, grated
- 1 Inch ginger, grated
- 1 Green chili, chopped
- 2 Teaspoons oil
- ½ Teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ Teaspoon asafetida
- 1 Teaspoon coriander-cumin powder
- ½ Teaspoon sugar(optional)
- ½ Teaspoon dry mango powder - amchur
- ¾ Teaspoon garam masala
- ½ Teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ Teaspoon red chili powder
- ½ Teaspoon kasuri methi, crushed
- Salt to taste
- Step 1 Blanch the spinach leaves by adding them in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Strain them and add them in cold water so that the leaves retain their green color. Puree the leaves in a blender.
- Step 2 In a nonstick pan, heat 2 teaspoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and asafetida along with ginger, garlic and green chili. Sauté for 30 seconds.
- Step 3 Add the chopped onions. Fry the onions till translucent and raw smell goes away. Then add chopped tomatoes and cook until they are soft around 5 minutes. Add in the spinach puree, add water according to how thick or thin you want the gravy to be.
- Step 4 Cover and cook the spinach for 5 minutes on medium flame.
- Step 5 Stir at regular intervals to avoid sticking at the bottom.
- Step 6 Once the spinach is cooked, add all the spices. Mix and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Step 7 Add the paneer cubes and let it simmer for 2 minutes.
- Step 8 Serve hot with naan, roti or rice.