If you're looking for an excuse to try making some home-made paneer
(or using up more summer greens
, for that matter!), look no further than palak paneer!
When the Boston Globe ran a recipe last week for this classic Indian dish of steamed spinach, cubed of paneer, and smoky spices, we knew we'd have to try it! Click through for our full review...The palak couldn't have been easier to make. Steam the spinach, saute an onion, add spices and some heavy cream, and dinner was ready in half an hour!
If you have any spinach-resistant eaters in the house, this is a good recipe to convince them to think otherwise. The sauce had all of the earthiness of spinach without any bitterness. We also liked how the sweet smoky flavor of the spices blended with the savory flavor of the spinach.
While it wasn't as creamy as we'd been expecting, finely chopping the steamed spinach gave the sauce an unexpected silkiness that we really enjoyed. The mild paneer made an excellent taste and texture contrast to the robust sauce.
We served our palak over rice, but it was almost hearty enough to eat on its own!
A few recipe notes:
We re-ordered the steps in the recipe, preparing the spinach first, then searing the paneer (in the same pan, even), and then sauteing the onions. For us, this made for a smoother and more logical work-flow.
We ended up adding an extra two teaspoons of salt after tasting the finished sauce in order to get the flavors to really come out.
We recommend doubling the recipe if you're serving more than two people. The recipe says it serves four, but we only got about two cups of sauce from our preparation. We felt this was a little more than enough for two people but not enough for four.
Put some rice on the stove to cook before you start preparing the palak, and it will be done by the time the sauce is ready!
• Recipe for Palak Paneer at the Boston Globe.
Related: Cooking by Feel: Indian Ingredients and Flavors
(Image: Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)