Palak methi paneer or Cottage cheese in a sumptuous and super healthy spinach & fenugreek gravy. This is a delicious take on the much loved palak paneer but with the goodness of fresh in-season fenugreek leaves.
Bonus: 1. Recipe of how to make guilt free malai Koftas in this delicious gravy.
2. Video (on INSTAGRAM) of a tempering that will take this dish to another level!
Home to me has always been more than a place.. Home to me is a feeling.
This particular plate of food talks to me of home. Its a take on my mom’s much adored palak paneer that we used to clamour for while growing up. She still makes the most amazing palak paneer ever. But somehow, on that particular day, I was feeling rather indulgent. I wanted palak paneer..but with the additional goodness of fresh fenugreek (methi) leaves.
Result?? These cottage cheese batons that have been dunked in a delicious palak + methi gravy, with a simple tempering of hing, red chillie and ginger just the way my mom made it.
Celebration all around!!
Make these anytime you want to taste what my home felt like..a dish that will warm your heart just as much as it pleases your palate, a dish that will be loved by the little adults and the big ones just the same..a dish that can double up as an easy Guilt-free party snack when made in huge batches, and a dish that’s completely make ahead!!!
- For paneer batons:
- Paneer/ cottage cheese 200 gm ( soaked in lukewarm water for 30 mins before you start making it, if you are using frozen paneer)
- red chillie powder - ½ tsp
- Turmeric - pinch
- Salt- as per taste
- Achaar oil (i used mango pickle oil) - 2 tbsp or enough to brush the grill pan
- For the curry/gravy:
- Spinach - 5 bunch or 4 cups chopped.
- Fenugreek leaf - 2 small bunch or 1 cup chopped.
- Kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaf - 2-3 tbsp
- Butter -1 tbsp
- To grind into paste:
- Onion 1
- Tomato 1
- Ginger ½ inch
- Garlic 10 cloves
- Green chillie - 2
- Water- ½ cup
- Cream - ¾ tbsp
- Crushed pistachio & cashew - 2 tbsp
- Whole spices :
- Cloves 2
- Cardamom 3
- Cinnamon 1 inch
- Black pepper - 6
- For tempering:
- Butter 1 tbsp
- Dried red chillies 2
- Ginger juliennes
- Hing/ asofoetida - a big pinch
- kashmiri red chili powder - 1 tsp
- Bonus recipe :
- For the Koftas:
- Paneer - 250 gms (presoaked in lukewarm water for 30 mins to make it soft)
- Cheese cubes - 2 grated
- Boiled potatoes - 2, mashed
- Onion ½ - chopped very finely
- Green chillies -3 or 4, deseeded and chopped
- Coriander leaf, ½ cup, chopped fine.
- Ginger grated - ½ inch
- Cornflour - 2 tbsp
- Salt, Red chillie powder 1 tsp, Chaat powder ½ tsp, Sugar ½ tsp.
- Raisins - handful
- Maraschino cherries, 7-8, chopped.
- 1 tbsp oil
- Take the paneer out of the water, and lightly coat the 2" batons with a bit of the pickle/achaar oil. Sprinkle some red chiie powder, turmeric and salt on each and leave aside for 10 mins.
- Heat a grill pan, coat with the achaar oil. Grill the paneer batons 3 mins each side. Keep aside.
- For the curry/gravy:
- Begin by grinding everything as mentioned fr the paste.
- Blanch the spinach and fenugreek in boiling water for 5 mins. Remove, drain and grind to a smooth paste with a pinch of salt and a clove of garlic.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil and butter in a non stick kadhai or pan.
- Once add the whole spices and wait for it to pop.
- Add the ground masala paste and fry it for 10 mins or till oil separates from it. Keep adding a little water if it starts sticking. Give it a good stir and fry the masala well.
- When the masala is done, add the crushed kasuri methi to it and cook for 2 mins.
- Add the ground Spinach and fenugreek paste and cook covered for 3-4 mins. Add ½ cup of water , and let the gravy simmer for 10 mins. Keep checking to ensure it doesn't stick. Add more water is desired.
- When ready to serve, add the grilled paneer batons/ koftas to the gravy, 2 tbsp of fresh cream, 1 tbsp of butter and simmer for 5 mins.
- For the tempering:
- In a separate kalchhi / small tempering pan, heat butter, add the hing, dried red chillie and ginger juliennes, red chillie powder and let it cook till fragrant. Immediately pour this on the curry and cover.
- Let it rest for 5-10 mins before serving.
- To make the koftas ( optional)
- Make the koftas by mixing all the ingredients listed under the koftas together alongwith the spices, raisins and cherries.
- Make balls the size of ping pong balls and set aside.
- Using an air fryer, I sprayed the koftas with 1 tbsp cooking oil ,set the temperature to 180 and air fry for 18- 20 mins till golden brown,.Turn it over once to ensure even cooking.
- While the koftas are frying, make the gravy.
You can also bake these in a 180 C oven for 20 mins.
Leave out the fenugreek leaf if you can't find them, only spinach will also do.
I love serving this curry with the koftas instead of basic grilled paneer batons on special occasions,when I have guests over or on indulgent days that demand leisurely dinner!
You can keep some koftas aside to enjoy as snacks. makes a great evening snack with chopped onions sprinkled with chaat masala and lemon juice.
Garnish with 2 tbsp of cream, chopped pistachios and cashew. Optional of course, but strongly recommended!
Do NOT skimp on the tadka or tempering!