Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Palak Paneer

The second recipe I promised from GAW, finally. :-)

Palak Paneer

4 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1.5 lbs. fresh spinach
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic
2 dried red chili peppers
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup heavy cream

2 cups cooked basmati rice

In a medium, heavy saucepan, bring milk to a boil. Remove from the heat and add lemon juice. (I add a dash of salt at this point.) Stir until milk curdles and separates. Let stand 5 minutes, then pour through fine-meshed sieve lined with at least a double layer of cheesecloth. Let stand until cool enough to handle, then pull the corners of the cloth together and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Flatten the curd to a thickness of 1/2 to 1 inch. Set on a plate, top with another plate, then top that plate with a weight and let stand for half an hour. Remove from cheesecloth and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

Wash, stem, drain and coarsely chop spinach. Thinly slice onion and garlic, and either slightly crush or add a couple slits to dried peppers.

Heat canola oil in a nonstick pan and lightly toast cumin (about 15 seconds). At this point I remove half the seeds with a slotted spoon. Sauté the cheese cubes until golden brown. Remove cheese and set aside on a paper towel.

In remaining oil, sauté red peppers and onions with until translucent. Add and sauté garlic. Add spinach by the handful and cook until it's all wilted. Add salt, cook until all liquid is evaporated. Add cream and boil until thickened to desired consistency. Gold in fried cheese, remove red peppers, and serve over rice.

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