Palak Paneer Recipe With a Diwali Twist

Palak paneer is a regular on the menu at the Pink Chai house, but this year I’m teaming up with Real Canadian Superstore to upgrade my basic recipe to a Diwali special!

palak paneer recipe

When I was thinking about dishes that we tend to include on our Diwali menu, I kept going to back to creamy heavy sauces – shahi paneer, kofta with a cashew gravy, navratan korma – the one thing they all have in common is a rich flavour. The other common thing about those types of dishes is that they all take time to prepare, and often require specialty ingredients. My goal with this recipe was to share something that was easy to execute, uses ingredients that are readily available at your local Real Canadian Superstore, and was Diwali table worthy. Quite a tall order, but I think I pulled it off!

I know that Indian cooking can be a little intimidating if you are a novice, or new to the cuisine, but it’s not that hard. I’ve always felt that the flavours in Indian cuisine are complex, but the techniques are much simpler than most people expect. The beauty of a recipe like palak paneer is – even with so many different flavours and spices in the mix, the dish is easy and quick to prepare.palak paneer recipe

At our house we love to serve hot palak paneer with Suraj Garlic Naan. We’ve tried a lot of different brands of ready made naan and we always go back to Suraj. Zara prefers plan naan though so I always keep some of those in the freezer. I always heat up naan slowly in the oven though and slather them with butter before serving – they taste so good that way!

In the following video you can see the step-by-step process for making my Diwali Palak Paneer, and just below I’ve written out all of the exact measurements for the ingredients. 

Palak Paneer Recipe {Serves 4}

*note – this recipe calls for pureed spinach. I usually buy baby spinach leaves, blanch them in hot water and puree. You can also use pureed canned or frozen spinach if that’s what you have on hand.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups pureed spinach
  • 1 small to medium sized red onion pureed
  • 1 inch piece of ginger and 4 garlic cloves pureed into a paste
  • 2 tomatoes pureed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1-2 dried red chillies, optional
  • 2-3 Suraj bay leaves
  • 3/4 tsp garam masala powder 
  • 1 tsp corriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp Suraj pomengrate powder
  • Salt to tast 
  • 1 cup of paneer cubes
  • ? to ½ cup water if needed
  • 1/4 cup of whipped cream
  • 2 tbsp oil or ghee or unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi leaves/dry fenugreek leaves

Method:

  1. Heat oil or ghee in your pan and add in tempering spices; cumin seeds, dried red chillies, and Suraj bay leaves. Cook for 1-2 minutes until they are golden brown.
  2. Add onions, cook for 2-3 minutes until lightly golden brown and add garlic and ginger mix. Cook this together for another 3-4 minutes on medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. 
  3. Add pureed tomatoes and cook for 4-5 minutes on low to medium heat. Add cumin powder, corriander powder, salt, and Suraj pomegranate powder to the mixture and stir well.
  4. Add pureed spinach and cook for 6-7 minutes on low to medium heat. If the mixture feels thick, you can add a little water. 
  5. Add the finishing spices; garam masala and kasuri methi, and then stir in the whipping cream. 
  6. Now add the paneer cubes and cook on very low heat for 2-3 minutes to soften the cheese and bring all the flavours together. 

I hope you’ll give my Diwali palak paneer recipe a try, and if you have a special family recipe you like to cook during the festival season, leave a comment and let me know what it is – it’s almost time to start planning my holiday menu!

 

 

 

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