Spinach curry is one of the most popular Indian curries not only for Indians but also for the people across the globe. It is a traditional winter curry prepared using leafy greens & cottage cheese (paneer). Spinach curry with paneer is commonly prepared using palak (Indian spinach), whereas saag paneer is prepared using mustard leaves. Here I have prepared spinach curry with the South Indian spinach namely Amaranth leaves (mulai keerai). Actually it is as delicious as palak paneer and creamier than palak paneer.
Palak is one of the most hot-selling and fast-disappearing greens at the vegetable shops in our locality and it is used for making palak paneer. But I don’t see any valid reason to leave our native leafy greens untouched and queue up for quite a few bundles of Delhi palak being sold like hot cakes. Actually we can make creamier curry using native greens such as arai keerai, mulaikeerai, thandu keerai, ponnanganni keerai, pasalai keerai, etc. But a few bitter greens like murungai keerai, manathakkali keerai, or agathi keerai are not suitable for making this curry.
Spinach curry with Paneer:
|Leafy greens||2 bundles|
|Cottage cheese triangles (or cubes/ diamonds)||as desired|
|Cumin seeds||1/2 tsp|
|Cumin seeds powder||1/2 tsp|
|Curry powder (I used Everest Kitchen King masala)||1 tsp|
|Dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)||1/2 tsp (optional)|
How to prepare spinach curry with paneer:
|1||Wash the greens and steam for 5 minutes. |
Blend them at room temperature along with green chillies until pureed.
|2||Chop onion & tomatoes finely.|
Mince ginger & garlic using fine-toothed grater.
|3||Heat a pan with ghee in medium flame.|
Add cumin seeds, minced ginger & garlic and saute for a minute.
Then add finely chopped onion & saute until translucent.
Add cumin seeds powder and fry for 10 sec.
add chopped tomatoes and saute until mushy.
|4||Add curry powder followed by water (200 ml) and bring it to boil in high flame.|
Add paneer triangles, cover the pan and simmer for 5-7 min.
|5||Add pureed greens and gently mix well without breaking the paneer triangles.|
Simmer greens curry for 2-3 minutes and remove from fire.
|6||Serve greens curry with cottage cheese triangles with naan, roti, chapathi, or pulao.|
|1||Adding ghee to leafy greens would elevate this dish to a whole new level as greens & ghee (keerai & nei) is the delicious pair.|
|2||I usually add 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder and fry along with cumin powder for adding bright green color to this curry, but here I missed to add it. It may sound strange that stir-frying turmeric powder enhances the green color of leafy vegetables, but it really works.|
|3||Some may like to add fresh cream to make this curry rich & creamy, but I prefer to increase the volume of greens puree to make it creamy and also use ghee in place of oil for the delicious aroma.|
|4||I don’t like to use red chilli powder in place of green chillies as it changes the color of greens curry.|
|5||We can replace paneer (cottage cheese) with tofu, baby potatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower florets, baby corn, or textured soya in this curry.|