Due to the high vitamin A content, doctors strongly recommend green leafy vegetables for postpartum period. Spinach is the perfect example in this regard. Spinach also contains folic acid, which increases the production of breast milk during breastfeeding, helps create new blood cells instead of those that are destroyed at birth and also reduces the mother’s depression. Spinach can be eaten in a salad or by eating spinach juice every day.
Ingredients of Palak Paneer
For the Palak puree:
200 to 250 g of fresh spinach/Palak
1 or 2 chopped green peppers
1 or 2 small to medium garlic cloves, cut into large pieces (optional)
½ inch of ginger, chopped approximately
3 cups of water to lighten the spinach.
3 cups of water
For the Palak curry:
1 small on medium onion, finely chopped, around a cup of finely chopped onion
1 small or medium-sized tomato, chopped, around a cup of finely chopped tomatoes
4 to 5 cloves of garlic of small to medium size, finely chopped
½ teaspoon caraway / Jeera
¼ teaspoon of turmeric / Haldi powder
½ teaspoon Red chili powder (optional)
a pinch of Asafoetida
¼ or ½ teaspoon of Garam Masala powder (add as needed)
1 tej patta or bay leaves
200 to 250 grams of Paneer or Tofu, about 7 to 9 ounces of cottage cheese
Add ½ cup of water or if necessary
1 or 2 tablespoons of low-fat cream from 25% to 35% (I used Amulcreme)
2 tablespoons oil or ghee or butter without salt
1 teaspoon kasuri methi / dried fenugreek leaves (the optional Kasuri methi is crushed and added to the end just before adding the cream).
Salt as necessary
Method of Palak Paneer
Make the spinach puree:
Rinse the palak or spinach very thoroughly under running water. Tender stems are good.
Boil 3 cups of water in a saucepan. Add ¼ teaspoon salt with hot water and stir. Then add the palak leaves in hot water. Close with a lid and leave the Palak in the water for 2-3 minutes.
Filter the palak leaves.
Immediately add the palak or spinach leaves to a pot or bowl of ice water. This method helps preserve the green color of spinach. Just add 8 to 10 ice cubes in 3 cups of water to get cold water. Leave the spinach leaves in cold water for one or two minutes.
Then drain the ice water. Add the spinach to a mixing bowl or jar with chopped ginger, garlic and green pepper.
Make a smooth puree of the palak. There is no need to add water through crushing. Keep the spinach puree aside.
Make the curry of palak:
Heat oil or butter in a pot or kadai. If using butter, melt it over low heat and make sure the butter does not turn brown.
Add the cumin and let it sizzle.
Then add Tej Patta or bay leaf.
Add the finely chopped onions. Sauté until the onions turn golden yellow.
Then add finely chopped garlic. Sauté until the taste of raw garlic disappears. There is no need to brown the garlic.
Add the chopped tomatoes. Stir and sauté the tomatoes until tender.
Once the tomatoes are soft, and you see how the grease comes from the sides of the mixture.
Then add turmeric powder, red chili powder, and asafoetida / hing.
Next, add the Palak puree.
Add approximately ½ cup of water or if necessary. Still, stir
simmer for 6-7 minutes or more until the palak or spinach is cooked. Season with salt. The sauce or sauce is now getting thicker too.
Stir and add garam masala powder.
Stir again, then add the paneer/cottage cheese cubes.
Stir gently and simmer until the paneer cubes are soft and juicy. About 1 to 2 minutes.
Finally, add the cream. Stir gently so that the cream is evenly incorporated into the Palak Paneer sauce.Stir and serve hot Palak Paneer with rice or Naan. You can add butter or cream to the Palak Paneer