Palak Paneer (Creamy Spiced Spinach with Cheese)

Carla Hall
Servings: 6
2+ hr

A tasty dish!

  • Ingredients
  • step-by-step directions
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • canola oil (as needed)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (or half oil, half unsalted butter)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (peeled, finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled, minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (peeled, grated, divided)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 pounds baby spinach
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato (cut into 1-inch wedges)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • For the Paneer: Line a fine mesh sieve with paper towels and set it over a sturdy bowl. Place the ricotta in the paper towels and press until all the liquid is released and the solids are as dry as possible. Remove to the refrigerator and allow to dry out further overnight.
  • Remove from refrigerator and transfer dried out ricotta to a paper towel-lined plate. Cover with additional paper towels and cover with a plate. Press down, releasing any excess moisture. Transfer the pressed cheese to a cutting board and cut it into 1-inch cubes.
  • In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of canola oil over medium-high heat. Add a single layer of cheese cubes and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining cheese cubes, replenishing and reheating the oil between batches; reserve.
  • For the Spinach: Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, deep skillet. Add the onion, garlic, chile flakes, and half of the ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  • Stir in the sour cream, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the spinach, a handful at a time, stirring to wilt the leaves before adding the next handful. Transfer the wilted spinach to a blender, along with the tomato, cilantro, and remaining ginger. Blend until finely chopped, not quite pureed.
  • Return to the skillet and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Top with the paneer and serve hot.
  • Tip: Make the fried ricotta cheese cubes and serve with marinara for a delicious party appetizer!
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