Palak paneer is the most popular vegetarian dish in North India. It consists of soft Indian cheese called paneer cooked in a smooth spinach (palak) curry. This dish is one of my all-time favorite Indian dishes.
I love palak paneer so much that when I finally got the chance to return to India after eight long years, it was the first thing I requested my grandmother to make. Of course, my parents had made delicious palak paneer for me many times, but nothing beats the version made by my grandma and not to mention, the fresh soft paneer you get in India.
When I lived in India, on the weekends, my grandmother used to send me to our local dairy shop called Mother Dairy to buy fresh paneer. I used to love going to Mother Dairy because along with buying the fresh paneer, I would also buy myself a small vanilla ice cream (another one of my favorites) as a little snack for long my journey home. Mother dairy was literally 5 minutes walking distance from our home (I had little feet so it seemed longer).
Paneer is a type of fresh Indian cheese; it is made of milk, some lemon juice and salt. The unique thing about paneer is that it doesn’t require any aging, so you can eat it right away. This Indian cheese is extremely mild in flavor and doesn’t melt at all, making it the perfect cheese to add in curries such as palak paneer.
It’s extremely easy to make fresh paneer at home, but I have to confess that I haven’t attempted it yet. It’s on my list of things to try making at home and when I finally do, I will definitely share it on the blog. Paneer is readily available at Indian grocery stores; my preferred brand is usually Nanak. Store bought paneer is quite dry and dense compared to fresh paneer, so I soak it in some hot water for 20 minutes to make it soft and spongy.
I regret never learning how to make palak paneer from my grandma, but this version that I am sharing with you today comes very close to hers. This version that I’m sharing with you today is my dad’s recipe, but it is just as delightful as my grandma’s. The first time I made this for the husband, a person that despises spinach, his mind was blown. He even said that he “never thought spinach could tastes so good”.
Give this recipe a try, I guarantee that you will never order take out palak paneer ever again.
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