Packed with spinach, our delicious, healthy palak paneer is the perfect meal to soothe and nourish the body and mind.
Vata, Pitta, Kapha
By: Sre Krishnan Nair
Palak paneer is a north Indian vegetarian curry with origins in the Punjab region. It’s arguably one of the all-time most beloved Indian recipes which we’ve customised to give it a healthy, Ayurvedic twist while still delighting all of the senses.
The fresh spinach combines with aromatic spices (cumin, garam masala and turmeric) for their flavour and gentle warmth, and pressed cheese (paneer) that squeaks with each bite.
The recipe is easy to adapt depending on your mind-body type or dosha and taste preferences. For instance, you could add a green chilly for extra bite – although we don’t recommend this for Pitta types.
If you’d like a vegan alternative you cold even substitute the paneer for hard tofu.
Once you have all of the ingredients – which you can pick up from an Asian grocer or supermarket – it’s quick and easy to make, nourishing and delicious.
- 300 g fresh spinach leaves
- 1 tomato (diced)
- 1 small red onion (sliced)
- 2 cloves of garlic (slithered)
- 300 g paneer cheese
- 2 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp turmeric (powder)
- 2 tsp garam masala (powder)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 cup of hot water
- Naan bread, basmati rice or quinoa to serve
This recipe can be eaten by all doshas, however you may like to make some minor adjustments to further balance Pitta and Kapha imbalances or vegan diets, including:
- Substitute the ghee for coconut oil which is more cooling for pitta
- Avoid adding extra spices or chilly
- You may like to substitute the naan or rice for quinoa
- Avoid adding extra salt which can contribute to fluid retention
- Substitute the ghee for coconut oil
- Substitute the paneer for hard tofu
Step by Step Instructions
Wash the spinach well. Place spinach in a pot of boiling water (with 1 tsp of salt) to blanch for up to 1 minute.
Drain the spinach and place in cold water (this will help to maintain the rich colour and flavour).
Place the drained spinach leaves into a blender or food processor. You may need to add 1/2 a cup of water to blend into a smooth puree. Set aside.
Dice the paneer cheese. In a hot pan, fry the cheese until golden. If necessary, you can use a tablespoon of ghee in the pan to avoid the cheese sticking to the pan. Set the cheese aside.
Reduce the pan to medium heat. Add the remaining ghee. Once hot, add the slithered garlic to the pan (30 seconds), followed by the sliced onion. Saute until the onion is soft and slightly brown.
Add the diced tomato to the pan, followed by the cumin and stir to combine the flavours and soften the tomato. Once the tomato is soft (1-2 minutes), add the garam masala and turmeric and saute for 2 minutes to activate the spices.
Add the spinach puree to the pan, add salt to taste and, if necessary, add hot water if the sauce is thick. Combine well before adding the cooked paneer cheese to the pan. Place the lid on the pan and leave to cook for 1-2 minutes.
Serve the palak paneer with naan bread or basmati rice. Enjoy!
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