In a small grinder or blender, add all the ingredients listed under "Masala paste" above.
Grind or blend to a smooth paste. Add very little water if required while grinding.
Keep this masala paste aside.
Blanching and making spinach puree
Rinse the spinach very well in water. Boil water with ½ teaspoon salt. Let the water comes to a boil. Then switch off the flame. Immediately add the spinach leaves to this hot water.
And let the spinach leaves be immersed in the water for 2 to 3 minutes.
Drain the water and quickly pour ice water over the spinach or immerse the spinach in ice cold or cold water. Keep for 2 to 3 minutes.
Drain the ice cold water or remove the blanched spinach leaves with the help of pasta tongs and place them in a blender.
Blend to a semi-fine or smooth spinach puree adding very little water, if needed. Set aside.
Making Corn Palak
First steam or boil the corn kernels and keep aside. You can choose to steam the raw corn kernels or corn cobs in a pan or steamer or stovetop pressure cooker or Instant Pot.
In the step wise instructions above I have detailed the steps to cook corn kernels in a stovetop pressure cooker. You can also use canned corn kernels to cut down on cooking time.
After you have cooked the corn kernels drain all the water from them and set aside.
For the cooked corn cobs, let them cool completely. Then carefully remove the corn kernels with a knife.
Heat oil or butter or ghee in a thick bottomed pan. Fry the cumin first till they crackle, become aromatic and are browned.
Now add the ground masala paste and mix very well.
Then add the turmeric powder, red chili powder, asafoetida and garam masala powder.
Keep on stirring and sautéing the masala, till the oil starts to leave the sides of the paste.
When you see that the oil has started leaving the sides of the masala paste and its color has changed, the paste has thickened and have become glossy, then add the spinach puree. Mix very well.
Then pour water and season with salt as required. Simmer the curry for 6 to 7 minutes on a low heat. Later add the boiled corn kernels and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes more.
Whip or beat cream till smooth in a bowl with a wired whisk or spoon.
Now add cream and dry fenugreek leaves. Stir and cook further for ½ to 1 minute.
Garnish with ginger julienne and serve corn palak hot with naan, roti, paratha or jeera rice or steamed rice.
In place of cashews, you can add almonds or use about 2 tablespoons of almond meal or almond powder.
You can also use baby spinach instead of the regular spinach. For frozen spinach, thaw and squeeze all the water from the leaves. Then blend adding little water if needed to get about 2 to 2.5 cups spinach puree.
Discard the spinach stems if they are fibrous or dense. But you can use tender and soft spinach stems.
Skip melon seeds if you don't have them.
The addition of cream is optional and can be skipped.
To make a slightly spicy curry increase the number of green chilies.
The consistency of the gravy can be thick or medium. So you can choose to add water according to the consistency you prefer.
If you don't have dry fenugreek leaves then omit adding them to the recipe.
You can use the Indian variety of white corn or desi corn or American sweet corn. In place of corn you can add green peas and make matar palak or peas spinach curry.
For a gluten-free recipe skip adding asafoetida.
This malai palak recipe can be scaled to make a large batch according to your needs.