500g (1 lb) bunch English spinach, trimmed, washed
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp ghee
1 small red onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
3 small dried red chillies, broken into bits
1/4 cup thickened (heavy) cream, plus extra to drizzle
1 tsp dried kasoori methi* (optional)
1 tsp garam masala
1½ tsp sea salt
rice or roti bread, to serve
2 litres (2 qt) milk
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt
To make the paneer, pour the milk into a large saucepan and cook, stirring, over high heat until it just comes to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Add the lemon juice and salt and stir until the milk separates and curds appear. Remove the pan from the heat. Line a colander with muslin cloth or a clean chux. Pour the milk mixture into the colander. Allow to drain. Pull the sides of the cloth up and knot. Rinse under cold water to remove the taste of the lemon juice. Squeeze well to remove any excess liquid. Transfer the cloth to a plate. Top with another plate. Place in the fridge for 2 hours to set.
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the spinach and cook for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Drain and run though cold water. Drain well. Process in a food processor until smooth. Set aside.
Place the cumin seeds in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook, shaking the pan, for 2 minutes or until aromatic. Transfer to a mortar and use a pestle to crush slightly. Set aside.
Melt the ghee in the frying pan. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add the tomato. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until tomatoes have broken down. Add the chilli and cumin and stir until combined. Add the pureed spinach and 1/4 cup water. Simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened.
In the meantime, unwrap the paneer and cut into roughly 3cm cubes.
Add the cream to the spinach mixture and cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Stir in the methi, if using. Add the paneer and gently stir to combine. Stir through the garam marsala and the salt.
Serve the palak paneer, drizzled with extra cream if desired, with rice or roti bread.
- Kasoori methi is dried fenugreek leaves. Search it out online or try substituting dried mint.