Palak Paneer

Palak paneer is power food. When translated literally it means spinach (palak) and cheese (paneer) – the two primary components. But there is a lot more to celebrate here. It’s the kind of dish that when prepared with care and good ingredients, can shift perspectives. It’s delicious, dynamic food to feed and power your body. The opposite of simply eating to fill up. With a spinach and tomato base, and range of spices, you’re getting all sorts of nourishing goodness in each bite. This version of palak paneer is inspired and adapted from one of my favorite new cookbooks Studio Olafur Eliasson: The Kitchen. I made some tweaks based on the spices I had on hand, and it’s a great recipe to tackle on a weekend afternoon. It’s also a recipe to consider doubling. Leftovers are great throughout the week, and fresh, homemade paneer never goes unappreciated. I’ve made this a few times since picking up the book in New York, and typically serve the palak paneer with brown basmati rice, or the paratha from the India chapter in Near & Far. Enjoy! -hPalak Paneer

HS: One note – a couple of you have had trouble getting the milk to curdle when making fresh paneer. It’s an issue I’ve never run into in the many times I’ve made paneer (or ricotta) over the years. I suspect it might have something to do with some dairy being ultra-pasteurized, so please avoid that if possible, and you should be fine.

1 quart whole full-fat milk
3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 pound spinach, rinsed

3+ tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
2 medium cloves garlic, chopped
1 thumb peeled ginger, grated
scant 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon fine grain salt
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoons garam masala

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