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.
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
- 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.