Palak Paneer

paneerI love Indian food and I crave it. Often it’s the hot and spicy food I crave, but on occasion I want a more mild dish, and this delivers great taste and a healthy dinner that everyone enjoys. I made my own paneer for it, which I think made it taste even better, although it’s time consuming. I enjoyed making something I’d never made before and even happier that it turned out right. Buying pre-made paneer works just as well for the dish.

paneer2For the paneer:
8 cups whole milk (1/2 gallon)
juice of 1-2 lemons

Use a large sauce pan and bring the milk to a slow boil over medium heat. Carefully stir it every couple of minutes so the milk doesn’t curdle or burn. This took me around 35 minutes to get it to this stage. Once it’s at a slow boil reduce the heat and slowly add the lemon juice. Add from about half a lemon at a time and carefully stir it. You’ll see the milk starting to combine together. I ended up using the juice of 2 whole lemons.

Once most of it has changed to curd – carefully strain it into a colander double lined with cheesecloth. Run a little cool water over the top to rinse off the lemon and let it sit for a couple minutes to let the water run out. I then took it and tied the cheesecloth together and hung it from the faucet for another 5 minutes to get more water out. After I got most the water I took the paneer and made it into a square brick – placed a plate with some weight on top of it and stuck it in the fridge for a couple of hours. After cool I was able to slice it into nice squares, and fried it in olive oil for just a couple minutes before adding to the sauce.

paneer3For the sauce:
1 pound spinach
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons olive oil

Over medium high heat add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the onion, and both the turmeric and cumin. Cook until the onion is turning translucent and then add the diced tomato. Cook together for a couple of minutes and add the spinach. It will take about 5 minutes to wilt most the spinach. Next use a blender and pour the whole mix inside and puree until it’s completely mixed together. Slowly pour it back into the pan and add the pieces of fried paneer. Turn the heat on low, add the heavy cream and let it simmer together for about 10 minutes.

paneer4I served it over rice, and should feed 3-4 adults. If you want it to be a bit more traditional, skip the heavy cream. My family doesn’t seem to like it as the thicker green sauce so I choose to lighten it up.

2 thoughts on “Palak Paneer

  1. Grow. Cook. Eat. Share. 2013/09/17 / 12:25 pm

    Looks delicious! I love that you made your own cheese! I am definitely going to try this 🙂

    • Gluten Free Fabulous 2013/09/17 / 1:10 pm

      Let me know how it turns out! I wasn’t expecting the cheese to take so long to make but in the end I’m glad I did it.

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