Curried spinach and fresh paneer

    45 minutes

    This delicious version of Palak Paneer is made easy with frozen spinach.

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    Serves: 4 

    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 1 large onion, finely chopped
    • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
    • Salt
    • 1 packet (300g) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
    • 1 cup chicken stock
    • 2 tablespoons no-added-salt tomato paste
    • 1–2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
    • 500 g fresh cheese (paneer), homemade or bought

    Preparation:15min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:45min 

    1. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large nonstick frying pan over moderate heat. Add the onion and cook for 7 minutes or until tender. Add the garlic, coriander, turmeric and a pinch of salt, stirring to combine. Add the spinach, stock, tomato paste and Tabasco sauce to taste and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and wipe out the frying pan.
    2. Cut the cheese into 1 cm chunks. Add the remaining oil to the pan over moderate heat. Add the cheese and cook, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes or until lightly browned and crusty on all sides. Gently stir in the spinach mixture and cook for 4 minutes or until heated through.

    Homemade Paneer

    • To make paneer, heat 2.5 litres full-cream milk in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low and pour in 100 ml lemon juice. Stir for 1–2 minutes or until the milk separates into curds and whey. Take the pan off the heat. Line a large sieve or colander with muslin or a clean tea towel and set over a large bowl. Pour in the milk mixture. Leave to drain for 15 minutes or until cool.

    • Bring together the corners of the muslin or cloth to make a bundle containing the drained curds. Squeeze them, then leave to drain for a further 30 minutes or until all the whey has dripped though the sieve into the bowl. Reserve 1 cup (250 ml) of the whey.

    • Keeping the curds wrapped in the muslin or cloth, place on a board. Set another board on top and press down to flatten the ball into an oblong block. Place cans or weights on top and leave in a cool place for about 3 hours or until firm. Refrigerate until using.

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