Palak Paneer or Spinach and Cottage Cheese

First make your paneer .. I've included this here, as it may be easier to make it at home than to rush out and buy it. I have no idea if its more economical. My friend, Loretta, was dumbstruck with horror when I gave her these instructions - she was hoping for an instruction like, " Go to the Indian Shop"..well nowadays, you can get Paneer in any self-respecting Indian shop, but if you dont feel like leaping into your car and driving, the instructions are included below.
Unfortunately indian food does  not always look very pretty ! 

How to make Paneer

Palak Paneer

You need:

A pressure cooker
A mixer/blender
A small pan for frying, or a wok or kadai.
  • 1 large bunch fresh spinach, or two packs of frozen spinach. Any form of spinach or greens can be used, even the young leaves of lauki, white pumpkin. 
  • 2 onions chopped roughly
  • 4 pods of garlic, chopped roughly
  • 1" ginger chopped roughly
  • 1 sliced zucchini (optional)
  • 1 full cardamon, 1 cloves, 4 peppercorns, a scrape of nutmeg, 1" or less of cinnamon
  • 2 dried or fresh red chillies - remove seeds if worried about heat
  • 1/2 cup of water if you are using frozen spinach.

  • Oil for frying paneer
  • Jeera for seasoning

  1. Place all the ingredients in the pressure cooker, close the cooker and bring to full pressure. Turn off the heat and leave the pressure cooker to come to normal pressure.
  2. In this time, you can set up the mixer/blender, or do other tasks.
  3. Open the pressure cooker, when the pressure has dropped. Turn out the contents into the blender, and blend till smooth. Add salt and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  4. Pour the spinach mixture into the pressure cooker again, and simmer gently if too thin, else leave it till just before serving and get on with the paneer.
  5. Fry the cubes of paneer in very little oil in a frying pan, turning with tongs to ensure that all sides get evenly, or almost!, golden brown. Place the fried ones in a paper lined plate.
  6. When ready to serve, bring the blended spinach to the boil and add the fried paneer cubes. Turn off the heat.
  7. In the small pan, heat a little oil. When hot, throw in the full jeera or cummin seeds, when they splutter, toss over the palak paneer. 

Serve with chapatis or naans and yogurt. There is no need for any other accompaniments, but since its a vegetarian meal, dessert is recommended to soothe the savage rumblings of aussie kids' subjected to a meatless meal. 

( Ensure that Ready made meat-pies are available for supper  for teenagers!)