Palak Paneer

Rinse the spinach leaves or palak (250 grams or 0.55 pounds) in running water.

Boil 3 cups water in a pan, microwave, or electric heater. Add ¼ tsp salt to the water & stir. Next, add spinach leaves to the hot water. Let the leaves sit in the water for 1 minute.

Next, strain the spinach leaves.

Immediately submerge spinach leaves in ice water. Allow the spinach to sit for 1 minute.

Drain the ice cold water. Add the spinach in a blender or grinder jar with 1 inch chopped ginger, (1 or 2 small to medium) garlic cloves, and 1 or 2 chili peppers (green chillies)

Make a smooth spinach puree.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil (or ghee or butter) in a pan or kadai (wok). Do not brown butter.

Add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds and let them splutter.

Next, add one small to medium-sized tej patta (Indian bay leaf).

Add ⅓ cup finely chopped onions (1 small to medium sized onion).

Sauté until the onions become golden.

Next, add 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic. Sauté until the raw aroma goes away. Do not brown.

Then, add ⅓ cup chopped tomatoes (1 small or medium sized tomato).

Stir and sauté the tomatoes until they soften.

Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon red chili powder (or cayenne pepper or paprika), & a pinch of asafoetida (hing). Mix well.

Add the palak (spinach) puree.

Mix well.

Add about ½ cup of water or as required. Mix & stir again.

Simmer the gravy for 6 to 7 minutes or more until the palak (spinach) is cooked. Season with salt.

Next, stir and add ¼ to ½ teaspoon garam masala powder.

Stir again & add the paneer cubes (200 to 250 grams cottage cheese). I have added the paneer cubes directly to the gravy, but you can brown them beforehand.

Turn off heat and stir in cream.

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