Spinach Paneer Curry (Palak Paneer) w/ Garam Masala Recipe
For the crispy paneer:
- 1 tsp tumeric
- ½ tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp pink sea salt adjust to taste
- 4 ½ tbsp grapeseed oil (3 Tbsp + 1 1/2 Tbsp)
- 12 oz paneer (Indian Cheese) cut into 1-inch cubes
For the spinach curry:
- 900 g frozen spinach
- 1 medium white onion finely chopped
- 1 stalk leek
- 1 inch thumb fresh ginger peeled and minced (about 1 Tbsp)
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1-2 red chili pepper finely chopped (optional)
- 1 tsp garam masala store-bought or homemade (recipe downloadable below)
- 3 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- ½ cup plain yogurt or plain Greek yogurt, stirred until smooth
- 1. In a bowl, mix together turmeric, cayenne, salt & grapeseed oil.
- 2. Cube paneer, and mix with the spice mixture – be sure to be gentle as the paneer can break apart easily. Put aside to marinade.
- 3. Thaw frozen spinach in the microwave for 3-5 minutes on high. When defrosted, use a colander to strain excess liquid. Reserve liquid.
- 4. Meanwhile, using a nonstick pan, chop the onion & leek and saute in 1.5 tbsp of oil on medium low temp. Alternate between mixing it and covering it, so that the steam can assist with this process of caramelization, and the mixing will make sure it doesn’t stick. Lower the temperature if it does start to cook too quickly without allowing those flavours to build. Add a splash of water if it starts to stick/burn, and allow the liquid to integrate back into the mixture. This step takes the longest (about 10-15 minutes). It’s the most important step! If you do n
- 5. If you prefer the spinach pureed, you could put in the food processor or chop it finely; personally, I prefer it as is chopped from the package for the texture.
- 6. Separately, using another nonstick skillet, heat up over medium heat, and add paneer to the pan as it warms up. When a crust forms and it becomes golden brown, toss the paneer and make sure to be gentle! Fry on each side until each side is browned.
- 7. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb extra oil.
- 8. Finely chop ginger, garlic, and chili and add to the onion mixture.
- 9. Add the garam masala, coriander and cumin to the pan as well.
- 10. Stir this mixture often, and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes, until the mixture starts to come together and smelling “more melodius” as Aarti describes it. (Couldn’t think of a better way to say this!)
- 11. Add the spinach and stir well to integrate all the ingredients together.
- 12. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved spinach liquid (or water), and season with salt to taste. Allow to cook for another 5 minutes with the lid off.
- 13. Remove pan off the heat.
- 14. Add the 1/2 cup of yogurt, 1 tbsp at a time to prevent it from curdling and ruining your hard work!
- 15. Once the yogurt is mixed well, add the paneer to the dish, and serve with rice, roti or naan.
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