This is another one of those more common Indian preparations from the north which is invariably on the menu of most restaurants, small or big, that serve Punjabi or north Indian food. Almost everyone who cooks it has their own recipe for it so I don’t know if there such a thing as an authentic Palak Paneer.
Palak paneer is nothing but pan-fried fresh, soft Indian milk cheese (paneer) in a mildly spiced spinach (palak) gravy. Spinach is the stuff of Popeye’s muscles (at least it used to be when I was growing up) and is one of those vegetables which falls in the “good for you” category for parents, and the “can’t stand the stuff” category for their kids. Most children (and adults) that I know of love paneer, and I have many Indian mothers say that Palak Paneer is one way they can get their children eat spinach.
Unfortunately for me, even though my daughter can probably eat paneer for all 3 meals of the day, palak paneer is one preparation which she will avoid. If pushed to the wall, she will pick out the paneer and leave the spinach behind. She will tolerate spinach as mulagootal or in her chappathis, pooris or parathas provided it is puréed and in the dough.
So obviously, this is one of those dishes I do not cook as often as I would like to. The palak paneer in my photographs may not look very inviting, but if you like spinach then this is a great way to enjoy it. The additional of cream at the end does make a difference to the taste, but if you are going to be cooking this often you might find it healthier to leave it out. In this case, replace the cream with milk.
This is a very simple dish to make and and doesn’t require much time or effort. Here is a good video on how to make palak paneer, though the recipe is different from mine. You can use store bought paneer to make palak paneer, but you may refer to this post (or this video) if you want to make your own at home.