Palak Panner

I love Palak Panner, Saag Panner all those green dishes with Panner in it.  Unlike the buttery greasy versions, Palak Panner can be made with very less fat but taste heavenly. I make this dish quite a few ways but this is the simplest version,  my erstwhile land lady taught me decades ago. This was probably the first dish I learned to cook. At first I used to find it daunting,  getting the Palak to be vibrant green, not the sloppy,gloomy brownish mush it turns into if overcooked. But not I can dish it out in my sleep. These days I make it quite often because it is healthy and Sunny boy refuses most vegetables but is ok with this one. Also dishing out this one for parties is easy as this one scales up easily. Besides everyone loves Palak Panner.
The temperatures being what they are right now, it is the perfect time to ladle bowl fulls of Palak Panner and mop it up with warm tandoori rotis! Add a dollop of cultured butter and it is a piece of heaven on dinner table.  Tandoori roti is for another day. For now it is Palak Panner.

We will need,  (This recipe makes a ton. Good for Potlucks and dinner parties. I would say it serves at least 8-10)

Spinach (tender ones preferred 2.5 lbs
Panner 1 lb
Peanut oil 2 tsp (optional)
Green chillies 6-8 (adjust according to taste)
Onion 1 large
Garlic 4-5 cloves
Ginger 1.5" piece
Ghee 2 tbsp
Jeera 1/2 tsp
Dhania powder 2 tsp

Jeera Powder 2 tsp
Black pepper powder 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala 1/2 tsp (yes that is a lot)
Fresh cream up to 1/4 cup (optional)
Salt to taste
Lemon juice to taste

Method:
  • Wash the Spinach and zap it in microwave, high for 3-4 minutes till the greens are wilted but still vibrant green. Remove from the microwave, allow it to slightly cool down and grind it into a puree.
  • It using ready made Panner, heat the oil in a heavy skillet and fry the Panner till golden in colour on all sides. If using home made Panner, this step can be skipped. The deal is Panner that has been sitting on the store shelf is rather sad tasting but once it is fried, it makes it little lively. Fresh Panner is delicate and needs nothing but tossing right at the end.
  • Combine the onions, chillies, garlic and ginger in a blender and puree it adding a little water if necessary. 
  • Heat the ghee in a thick bottom pot. Throw in the jeera. Once it stops spluttering, throw in the onion paste and the dhania-jeera powder.Cook till the paste smells fragrant, about 15 minutes. Add water periodically and make sure the mixture does not burn.
  • Once the mixture is fragrant, throw in the Palak puree. Reduce heat and bring it up to a gentle boil. 
  • Fold in the Panner and Garam Masala. Adjust salt  and lemon juice. 
  • Stir in the cream if using. Milk can be substituted for cream as well and I do most of time. 
  • Remove from heat and serve hot with tandoori rotis. This dish freezes well (save the cream/ milk, and add it after reheating) and can be frozen for months. It can also be refrigerated and reheated in the microwave.

8 comments:

Priya said...

Who can resist to eye pleasing palak paneer, loving it.

Nagashree said...

My daughter's favorite, love that green color in your picture.

Sushma Madhuchandra said...

such a lovely green color you have got Smitha!

Vanamala Hebbar said...

loved it greenish color and lovely falvor of palak paneer

Apu said...

Looks deliciouS!!

Leena said...

Love the color of the curry..looks very yummy..

Kumudha said...

I often make palak paneer, by substituting hard tofu for paneer.

I love the name of your blog, as I'm also kannadiga .

Pavithra said...

wow, nice recipe & a great ethereal pic , Thanks!