Here is my rendition of palak paneer, a North Indian favorite in our household. In true Masala Mommy form, it’s a quick, healthy recipe that only takes 15 minutes and tastes good too. This makes about 6 servings.
Confession: I am one of those people that can’t follow directions well (I just march to my own drumbeat, okay?) and as such, I do not measure things very well in the kitchen. I like to wing it. I play some good music, smell the different masalas as I cook (yes, I really do that) and just go with the flow. Therefore, I tried my very best to break it down into a recipe format for you. I love when readers ask me for recipes!
6 cups spinach
2 cups kale
½ yellow onion
½ inch ginger
1 cup sour cream (fat-free for adults)
½ cup plain greek yogurt (optional for added protein)
1 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp. turmeric powder
2 tbsp. tikka masala powder (or less depending on brand)
1 tsp. mango powder
Dash of Cinnamon
1 tsp. sugar
Salt to taste
2 tbs. cooking oil (Olive Oil preferred)
1 medium block of paneer cut in cubes (Tofu substitute optional)
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. mango powder
Pinch of salt
2 cups spinach
1 large diced tomato
2 tbs. butter (or butter alternative like Smart Balance)
Step 1: Pan-fry the paneer in olive oil. Masala Mommy Tip: Keep cubed paneer in the freezer in pre-portioned Ziploc bags. All I have to do is defrost a bag earlier that day. Huge time saver!
Add salt, turmeric and mango powder to paneer. Allow to brown and stir occasionally. (Move onto Step 2). Set aside in a bowl once done.
Step 2: Pull out your blender to make the gravy. No pre-chopping required for the gravy. Woohoo! Just throw in all ingredients for the gravy and add little water as needed to blend. I use the Vitamix and use a small amount of water. If gravy becomes thinner than desired, no problem. It will thicken later.
Step 3: Use the same pan that you used for the paneer (less is more when it comes to clean up, right?) Add a little bit of olive oil. Once oil is heated, add diced tomatoes. Stir and add spinach. No need to chop, just gently tear into small pieces directly into pan. This gives your palak-kale gravy a nice texture. Once tomatoes and spinach are cooked, add paneer. Gently mix and then pour the gravy into the pan. Allow to simmer for 4-5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Step 4: Add butter (or butter alternative). You may add any of the gravy masalas as needed to modify flavor according to taste.
Step 5: Serve with rice or naan. I usually keep this naan in my freezer which goes well with the palak paneer.
I even like Middle Eastern Flatbread, which I buy from Trader Joe’s. And if I have ample time (ha!) I make whole wheat paranthas.
If you try out this recipe, please leave a comment! Let me know if you liked it and share any yummy modifications you made. Enjoy!