Veet’s tasty home-style palak paneer with silver beet.
When I first cooked the palak paneer from the communes’ Zorba the Buddha Cook Book I somehow overlooked that you had to blend the spinach. When I presented the dish to friends I knew it looked wrong but it tasted more delicious than I ever remembered palak paneer tasting. I went back to blending it but never got the same taste. After a recent research I found out that a lot of homemade palak paneer is not blended. So it is this recipe based on the Zorba the Buddha Cook Book recipe that I share with you. By blanching the silver beet or spinach you retain the colour and get a lovely green palak.
Serves 4 if the only curry, or 6 to 8 if eating with other curries
Preparation and cooking time: 35 to 45 minutes
2 bunches of silverbeet or spinach
250 g paneer cut into cubes
2 onions finely diced
2 tsp finely grated ginger
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tomatoes finely diced (these are optional – they are not traditionally used but I like the flavour they add)
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
2 chillies finely chopped (optional)
3 tbsp cold pressed olive oil
1 tsp salt and to taste
Wash the silver beet really well and blanch it for 3 to 5 minutes in a small amount of boiling water. Remove it from the water and let drain. In a wok slightly heat 2 tbsp of the oil and add the cumin seeds, chilli, garlic, ginger and onion. Fry until the onion is translucent. Add the tomato, 1 tsp salt, coriander and garam masala and cook for a few minutes. Next cut the blanched silver beet very finely and add to the wok.
Cover and cook for 5 minutes then turn off the heat. In a frying pan fry the paneer in the remaining oil. You only need to brown two of the sides of the paneer. Drain the cooked paneer on kitchen paper and add it to the silver beet; it should be still warm but if you would like it hotter just heat up for 5 minutes or so. Serve with brown rice or millet.
Recipe by Veet