Palak paneer, spiced spinach with Indian cottage cheese

  • for 4 people
  • Ready in 35 minutes
  • Easy
Palak paneer, or spiced spinach with Indian cottage cheese, makes a wonderful veggie starter.

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400g fresh spinach leaves
2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra oil for deep frying
400g paneer cheese, diced into 2.5cm cubes
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3 tomatoes, diced
4cm piece fresh ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped
1 tsp Patak’s Balti Curry Paste
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander


1. Put the spinach in a colander. Pour over boiling water to wilt the leaves. Drain and refresh in cold water. Drain well and purée in a food processor.
2. Heat oil for deep frying in a heavy-based pan to 190°C or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds. Deep fry the paneer for 2-3 minutes, until brown on the edges (use a metal spoon to stop it sticking to the pan). Set aside on kitchen paper to drain.
3. In another saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over a medium heat and add the cumin seeds. When they crackle, add the tomatoes, ginger, garlic, green chilli and balti paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add the spinach and stir well. Bring to a simmer, then mix in the paneer.
4. Put in a serving dish and sprinkle with the garam masala and coriander. Serve with chapattis.

From November 2005

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