Spinach - washed and chopped fine - 4 cups
Paneer - 200 gms - cubed
Cream - 3-4 Tbsp
Tomatoes - 2 small chopped
Onion - 1 small chopped
Ginger root - grated 1 tsp
Garlic - chopped 1 tsp
Green chilis - 1 chopped
Shahi masala - 1/4 tsp
Dry masala for tempering - 4 cloves + 2" cinnamon stick flat kind + 2-3 green ilaichi + 1 large/black ilaichi (optional)
Salt to taste
Salt to taste
Chili powder - 1/2 tsp or to taste
Peanut oil - for tempering - 2 tsp and more for deep frying paneer
Heat 1 cup of water in a large pan. Add cut spinach. Do not cover and cook spinach.
Transfer to a bowl. Use a hand blender and chop down the spinach. I don't puree it. You can choose the consistency you like.
Take 2"-3" high oil in a wok and deep fry paneer. Transfer it to a plate. (You can also shallow fry paneer or use paneer without frying at all).
Take 2 Tbsp oil from the same oil from frying and add to a pan. Turn on the heat and add dry masala. Be careful as cloves can splatter and cause burns.
Add chopped onion and cook until golden brown.
Add ginger, garlic, chili (you can grind ginger-garlic-chili into paste) and chopped tomato (or puree) and cover and let it cook for a minute.
Add cooked spinach and 1 cup water.
Add salt, chili powder and stir well.
Cook until half the water is evaporated and add shahi masala and cream. Mix well.
Add paneer and cover and cook for couple more minutes so that paneer will absorb the spices.
Serve immediately with Indian bread, or rice.
1) I always prepare extra ginger-garlic paste (both in equal amounts) and store it in the freezer in glass jars. Thaw it when needed and refreeze it.
2) Don't cover spinach when cooking or it will change from bright green to darker green.
3) You can use frozen chopped spinach if you don't have time to use fresh spinach.
4) Always cover the pan after adding dry masala and remove from the heat. Dry masala can splatter and pop out and cause burns. Heated oil is enough to cook the dry masala. Remove the lid, add
veggies and return the pan to heat.
5) You can use ground cashews (5-6) with milk instead of cream.
6) You can use 2 Tbsp butter instead of oil for dry masala.
7) I don't like the strong flavor of black ilaichi so I rarely use it.
8) With all such variations taste will be a little different every time (I prefer that).