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Palak paneer(cottage cheese cooked in a spinach curry)

Palak paneer(cottage cheese cooked in a spinach curry)
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Whether it is amritsari kulcha and chicken tikka or sarson ka saag and makki ki roti ,Punjabi cuisine is immensely popular among food lovers from all over the world.The ingredients used here in the dishes are locally cultivated and hence fresh and full of flavors.Palak paneer is one such dish which needs no introduction .The freshly prepared cottage cheese pieces are cooked in a medium spicy curry of spinach with mild seasonings.Authentically this dish is prepared with homemade cottage cheese produced from curdled milk and then pressed with a stone to form solid block of cottage cheese.But nowadays one can buy readymade cottage cheese or tofu from the market for this dish.

Ingredients

1.Spinach ( A bunch)
2.Paneer(200 gms) or 1/2 litre milk
3.Lemon juice(1 tbsp)
4.Tomato chopped (1)
5.Cumin powder(1 tsp)
6.Green chilies(2 )
7.Garlic (5 to 6 cloves)
8.cinnamon (1 stick)
9.cardmaom(4 to 5)
10.cloves( 3 to 4)
11.cumin whole (1 tbsp)
12.red chilies(2 )
13.clarified butter or ghee(2 to 3 tbsp)
14.Chopped onions(3/4th cup)

preparations

1.boil spinach ,green chilly and garlic with a cup of water and salt.
2.Strain and make a fine smooth puree.
3.roughly grind the cinnamon ,cardamom and cloves into a powder.
4.Add clarified butter in the pan.
5.Add the roughly grpound all spice powder.
6.Add chopped onions and fry on low flame till translucent.
7.Add the tomatoes and fry till soft.
8.Add the spinach puree and fry.
9.If it seems too thick add 1/2 cup of water and cover cook for 5 minutes on slow flame.The consistency should be like tomato ketchup.
10.Add the cottage cheese cubes at this stage and cover cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.
11.For tempering add ghee on a small pan and add roasted cumin and red chilies.When they release a nice aroma ,add this tempering into the curry.
12.Serve hot with naans or rice.

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Indrani Sen