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  • Sushma Saksena

Palak Paneer (For Fasting)

Generally, we fast in extremes. While fasting, some people take only milk and fruits while some others take very high calorie food in the name of fasting e.g. potatoes, kheer, sabudana, chestnut flour (singhada atta) poori and lots of fried food. There is no harm eating such food occasionally but if we consume such rich food continuously say during the nine days of Navratri or the sawan month, our health would suffer. So, consuming healthy food is necessary during fasting.


Keeping this in mind, I have prepared this recipe of Palak Paneer. Palak Paneer prepared from this recipe is nutritious and suitable even for those who are strict vegetarian. You would love the way Palak Paneer is prepared because of its taste, smell and creamy texture.

Otherwise, Palak Paneer is a very healthy dish, popular in all over India. Spinach(palak) is good for people of all ages particularly for children but many children don’t like the taste of spinach so Palak Paneer is a good alternative for them. You can also use it as a pizza topping.


This dish has a magnesium, folate, vitamin A and K, potassium, calcium, and many other nutrients. Since palak paneer is full of calcium and phosphorus, it plays a positive role in heart and muscle function. Vitamin B2 and B12 in cottage cheese helps to convert food into useable energy.


Palak Paneer has many benefits:-

1. Spinach contains magnesium which helps lower blood pressure. Spinach also has lots of antioxidants which keeps your cholesterol low.

2. Palak paneer is good for pregnant ladies because spinach has lots of Vitamin A which improves the immune system. Folate is essential for brain and nervous development for baby.

3. Improves digestion.

4. This dish also contributes to your protein intake.


In short, Palak paneer is full of nutrition and flavours and one can say that it is one of the most healthy vegetarian dishes.


Palak Paneer for fasting can be served with singhada- kuttu ki poori/roti/bhakhri. Otherwise, Palak Paneer goes well with wheat chapati, naan or rice.


Prep Time: 10 mins

Cooking Time: 25 mins

Total Time: 35 mins

Course: Main Course

Serves: 4 persons


Ingredients for Palak Paneer:

1. Fresh spinach (Palak): 200-250 gm

2. Cottage cheese (Paneer):100-150 gm

3. Green chillies: 2-3

4. Ginger:1/2 inch

5. Tomatoes: 1-2

6. Cashew nuts:10-12

7. Whole garam masala consisting of 2-3 green cardamoms, 3-4 cloves, and a small piece of cinnamon

8. Ghee/Oil: 1 tbsp

9. Red chilli powder: 1 tsp or according to taste

10. Salt as required





How to make Palak Paneer:


Making puree

1. Rinse the palak thoroughly in running water. If the stems are stringy, then remove them. You can keep tender stems.



2. Boil 3-4 cups of water in a pan. When the water starts boiling add palak to it. Let the palak leaves sit in the water for 2-3 minutes.


3. Just after a few minutes, remove the pan from the flame. Strain the spinach in a strainer.


4. Immediately after this, put cold water on spinach. This helps in preserving the green colour of spinach.


5. Now put the spinach in a wet grinder and make a smooth palak puree. Keep this puree aside.


Making masala paste for Palak Paneer:

1. Put cashew nuts, tomatoes, green chillies, ginger, salt, red chilli powder in the grinder. Make a smooth paste. Keep this paste aside.


2. Cut paneer in small cubes. Keep aside.


Making Palak Paneer:

1. Heat ghee or oil in a kadhai.


2. Add all the whole garam masala and heat till it splutters.


3. Now add ground masala paste. If the masala starts sticking to the bottom of the pan then put a little water and stir it well.


4. Stir it occasionally until the fat separates from the masala.


5. Your masala is ready when you see ghee separating from the masala.


6. Add paneer cubes to it.


7. Now add palak puree to it. Stir it for a minute.


8. Cover the pan for 5 to 7 minutes.


9. Remove the cover and see if the fat is floating on the palak puree which would mean that your palak paneer is ready.


10. Add it in a serving bowl.


11. For garnishing spread some grated paneer on top of the Palak Paneer.



Tips:

1. Opt for low-fat version of cottage cheese.

2. Add spices in moderation as palak tastes best without too many spices or herbs.

3. Always blanch the spinach (palak). Do not overcook the palak and never boil it. Otherwise the palak wouls lose it’s fresh green colour as well as itsnutrients.

4. Soak the paneer for half an hour in warm water before cooking to make it soft.

5. You can use oil instead of ghee but ghee gives a better taste to the Palak Paneer.




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