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Spinach – Monica's Spice Diary – Indian Food Blog

Palak Paneer

I really enjoyed teaching how to make this dish during yesterday’s LIVE cookery class. It’s such an easy, quick “throw together recipe” which is perfect for a weeknight meal or as part of a more elaborate spread.

As it’s a dry dish, it also works incredibly well as a filling in a wrap or even in a pitta bread! Palak paneer pitta pockets anyone?

I received an amazing response from those who cooked along with me during the live class. If you missed it but want to watch, you can view it right here. Let me know how it goes and don’t forget to share a photo of your recreation on Insta, Twitter or Facebook.

Oh and FYI, I will now be doing live classes every other Friday so my next live cook-along will be on 29th May. I am working on an exciting project in the mean time and am excited to share the details very soon.

Happy cooking y’all.

Palak Paneer

Ingredients
  

To toast paneer

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 225 g paneer cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • salt

To make the palak paneer

  • 3-4 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp butter/ghee optional
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic very finely chopped
  • 2cm ginger very finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato finely diced
  • 3 tbsp tomato pasata
  • 1 tsp salt or according to taste
  • 3/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 300 g fresh spinach washed, dried & finely chopped/shredded
  • 1-2 green chillies finely chopped

For optional garlic tempering

  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 clove garlic cut into paper thin slices
  • 3 good pinches dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) optional

Instructions
 

  • To toast the paneer, heat oil in a pan (ideally non stick) on a low/medium heat setting. Once hot add the paneer, cumin seeds and a pinch of salt. Allow the paneer to cook for 10-15 seconds until it is light golden in colour. Then turn over each piece and cook on the other side. (You want just a light golden skin on each piece). Remove from pan and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, heat up oil and butter/ghee. Once hot, add the nigella seeds, garlic & ginger. Keep mixing continuously on a medium heat until light golden in colour. (It won't take long – do not allow it to brown too much as it will burn and become bitter).
  • Now add the chopped tomato and pasata and cook for 2 minutes on a medium heat whilst mixing. Then add the salt and remaining spices.
  • Once you see the oil begin to release at the edge of the tomato paste, add the toastetoasted paneer pieces and green chilli and mix. Now begin to add the spinach a couple of handfuls at a time, mixing as you do it.
  • Once all the spinach is in the pan and has started to wilt, reduce to a low/medium heat and place a lid on top. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring halfway through. The spinach will start to release its water. Keep cooking until all water has evaporated and you have a dry dish where the palak and paneer pieces are both well combined. Taste for salt/chilli and adjust accordingly.
  • For the tempering, heat oil in a small pan. Then add the garlic slivers and dried fenugreek. Keep stirring and as soon as you see the garlic take on a light golden colour, turn off the heat. Drizzle over the paneer palak and serve with your favourite Indian breads.

Roasted Gosht Palak Lamb Spinach Curry

This slow roasted Lamb Gosht Palak was the star of the show at my recent Mughlai cookery class. Marinated lamb roasted in whole spices and a glorious caramelised rich masala. 3 words = melt in mouth. A dish fit for a Moghul King or Queen ????. When I posted a snap of this on instagram and facebook, I didn’t expect so many requests for the recipe. (I also didn’t realise the pool of green spinach would turn out to be so photogenic). Thankfully this dish tastes as good as it looks so enjoy the recipe. Pop a comment or share a photo of your recreation if you make it!

Roasted Gosht Palak Lamb Spinach Curry

Servings 4

Ingredients
  

For the marinade:

  • 850 g leg of lamb boneless cut into 2” chunks
  • 4 tbsp yoghurt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala

To cook the lamb:

  • 5 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 green cardamoms crushed open
  • 1 black cardamom crushed open
  • 3 cms cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 3 medium onions thinly sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic grated
  • 3 ” ginger grated
  • 1 ½ tsp salt or according to taste
  • 6 tbsp tomato passata
  • 2 green chillies finely chopped
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 250 g fresh spinach

Instructions
 

  • • Place all the ingredients in the “marinade ingredients” list in a bowl. Mix together & cover. Ideally allow the lamb to marinate for 24 hours. If not, overnight is acceptable.
    • Pre-heat oven at 220*C. Heat ghee/oil in a pan. Once hot, add the bay leaves, green and black cardamoms, cinnamon stick and cloves. They should begin to splatter immediately.
    • Now add the onions and cook until translucent-this should take about 4-5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic at this point and cook on a medium heat for a further 10-12 minutes or until they turn fully golden brown.
    • Now add the tomato pasata along with the green chilli. Cook for a further minute. Reduce the heat and then add the salt and all of the dry spice powders and cook for 2 minutes.
    • Now add the marinated lamb to the pan. Cook on a medium/high heat, mixing continuously for 5 minutes or until it begins to seal.
    • Now transfer to an ovenproof pan. Add enough water so the lamb is completely covered and place in oven. After 30 minutes, give the lamb curry a mix and reduce temperature to 180*C and place a lid on top.
    • Bring half a cup of pan of water to the boil. Place the spinach in the pan and as soon as it is wilted (should take about 2 minutes) remove and drain using a sieve. Place in a food processor and blitz into a paste. 
    • Once the lamb has been cooking an hour, add the wilted spinach and then cook for a further 45-60 minutes or until the lamb is tender. (If you ever see that the lamb curry is looking a little dry, you can add some water). 
    • Remove from oven. Taste for salt/chilli and adjust accordingly. Finish with fresh coriander.

Notes

 Feel free to pick out the whole spices before serving.
If you want to slow roast, after the first 30 minutes, drop the temperature to 175c and cook for 3-4 hours (checking on it every 40 minutes or so).