Vegetarian Curry In a Hurry: Palak Paneer

By Esther Boateng

You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy this wonderfully aromatic Indian curry, made with simple ingredients. Palak means spinach, and Paneer is an Indian cheese. Essentially, it’s pureed spinach steeped in aromatic spices such as coriander, turmeric, and green cardamom. You can probably whip this recipe up in the same amount of time it takes for takeout to be delivered.

Use an alternative white cheese, such as Halloumi, if your local grocery doesn’t stock paneer. I prefer halloumi; I think it has more taste than paneer, which can be bland in comparison. If you enjoy a full-body cheese, I bet you will also love halloumi.

The great thing about both types of cheese is that it takes almost no time at all to prepare. If you sauté the halloumi for any longer than 3-5 minutes you might overcook it, and that would be a shame because halloumi tastes incredible when you cook it just right. If you have a weakness for cheese, you might fall in love with this one at first bite.

The flavors in this curry marry nicely, and there’s no need to let it simmer for ages. As soon as the onions and spices get acquainted, the pureed spinach goes in with a touch of cream, and it’s done. Traditional recipes typically include 1-2 chopped green chilies. I don’t always have fresh chilies on hand, so I tend to rely on the Threefold Blend (Spicy) and adjust the pepperiness as I cook. If you want to make this recipe more interesting, roast the tomato and garlic before you add it to the onions; this gives an added boost of flavor, but isn’t necessary. The combination of flavors from the aromatic spices is enough to tickle your taste buds with delight.



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