(If you’re wondering why these articles come in spurts, it’s because whenever I get home from college, once I’m past the lethargy phase I feel like doing something useful. And my mom immediately senses this and switches into her lethargy phase, taking me as an “intern” at the kitchen :P)
Today we’ll be making one of my favorite dishes, Palak Paneer. There’s something about green food that automatically makes me assume it’s healthy and in this case that’s true as well 😀
I always thought it was a pretty advanced dish because it’s usually my go-to order at a new place. I basically judge a restaurant based on whether or not they screw up Palak Paneer.
Turns out it’s easier than I thought. Let’s dive in.
- A bunch of Palak
- Turmeric Powder
- First cut the paneer into small squares, which are thin and have large surface area. So if you consider each piece as a cuboid then the height should be less when compared to your length and breadth. (I just read that back and I come across as a complete robot 😛 ). Add some oil in the tawa and fry these until they get a nice brown texture. This may take some time, you can progress with the steps while this continues.
- In your cooking pot, add two drops of oil and your chopped onions (refer this if you’re unsure about how to cut vegetables) with turmeric powder, mustard and salt to season. Let it simmer until the onions have a golden shade.
- Chop and clean the palak into small shreds and add it into the pot. Also add the chillies and ginger (optional) in the proportions specified below. Mix it around until the water evaporates entirely.
- Now add this mixture to the small bowl of your mixer grinder, with quarter cup of water. Let it run for 4 bursts of ten seconds each at the least speed on the machine. (Details here) This should yield a nice green colour and a semi-solid uniform texture.
- Now add this ground paste to your cooking pot, add the paneer pieces (which is hopefully nicely done by now and not a burnt mess 😛 ) and add around 3-4 glasses of water. You could also add chopped boiled potato if that suits your fancy. This varies based on what texture you want the final dish to have. I prefer for it to be not very runny but this can be personalized.
- Let the pot boil on a low flame until the curry has a nice consistency. Serve hot with chapathis.
To serve 3 people:
- 100g Paneer – Step 1
- 1 onion + Half a teaspoon of turmeric powder + Quarter teaspoon mustard + Quarter teaspoon salt- Step 2
- Mix from Step 2 + 1 bunch of Palak chopped(about 200g I guess) + 2 chillies + 15g Ginger (optional) + Quarter glass water – Step 3
- Ground Paste of Mix from Step 3 + 3-4 Glasses water + Half a teaspoon of salt – Final
Learnings for the Day:
- Paneer is really easy to chop but really hard to fry. It gets stuck on the frying pan easily so use two spoons to keep flipping it around to ensure it doesn’t get burnt or stuck
- Palak needs to be washed extensively for health reasons. After you chop it, leave it in a trough of water for 5-10 minutes to clean it before you add it to the cooking pot.
- Never add too much salt. It can always be added and mixed later. Too less is fine, too much is painful. (No I didn’t do that. Stop looking at me like that -_- )
- When boiling the final curry how do you know when to stop. So the thing which I observed is that initially when you add the water, there is a clear layer of water on top of the rest of the curry. You keep mixing and letting it boil on a low flame until this layer is no longer discernible i.e. you have achieved a consistent texture
- Washing dishes is a pain 😛