This is one of my most favourite North-Indian Gravies and I simply cannot resist the urge to eat it even when we’re dining out, although I make it at home once in a while.
- Palak / Spinach – 3 bunches (blanched and pureed)
- Paneer – 200 gms (diced into 1″ cubes)
- Onions – 3 nos (medium sized, cut into 1″ cubes)
- Tomatoes – 3 nos (medium/large sized, cut into 1″ cubes)
- Garlic – 5-6 pods
- Ginger – 1 small piece
- Jeera/ Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Garam Masala – 1 tsp
- Red Chilli powder – 1/2 to 3/4 tsp
- Jeera powder, Dhaniya powder, Methi powder, Amchur powder – 1/4 tsp each
- Salt – to taste
- Cooking Oil – 1 tbsp (for sautéing the onions) + 1/2 tsp (for the gravy)
- Ghee / Butter – 2 drops (for roasting the paneer)
- Warm Water
- Heat 1 tbsp cooking oil (I use Olive oil or Rice Bran Oil) in a wok (kadai). Once the oil has heated, add the cubed onions and sauté till golden brown. Once sautéed, remove from stove and allow to cool.
- Make a smooth paste of the sautéed onions, cubed tomatoes, garlic and ginger.
- Heat 1/2 tsp oil in the wok. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and allow to splutter.
- Add the onion-tomato-ginger-garlic paste. Add all the powdered spices and salt.
- Stir well. Keep on low flame and allow to season for 10-15 minutes.
- Once this gravy has lost the raw smell, add the palak puree. You may want to add some warm water to adjust the consistency of the gravy. Keep on low flame and allow to season for another 10-15 minutes.
- In the meanwhile, slightly roast / shallow fry the diced paneer cubes till golden brown, with 2 drops of ghee or butter. Add a little salt while roasting.
- Heat some water and add 1/2 tsp salt to it. Once the paneer cubes are roasted, put the cubes into this water and allow to soak for 10 minutes while the gravy is getting seasoned. Doing this keeps your paneer absolutely soft even after adding to the gravy!
- Drain the salt water from the paneer and keep the paneer aside.
- Once the gravy is seasoned and you no longer get the raw smell of the gravy and masalas, add the paneer cubes. Stir very lightly, taking care not to cut the soft paneer cubes. Keep on low flame for 5 minutes and remove from flame.
- Serve hot with straight-from-the-pan Rotis and onion rings. Finger-licking-good!