Palak paneer – a classic Indian dish whose popularity has skyrocketed from being a favourite in Indian households to a global favourite. The dish is a combination of paneer, a type of Indian cottage cheese, cooked in a flavourful spinach (palak) curry.
We live in fascinating times – where one wakes up and enjoys avocado and toast, has a chicken salad for lunch, and palak paneer and warm naan bread for dinner. And for a foodie, that right there is pure bliss. Many of us have grown to appreciate flavours from different cuisines, not just when we go to a restaurant or get takeout, but also through cooking.
Indian food tastes like home. It’s the kind of comfort food that hits differently on a cold or rainy day. And whenever I (Megha) feel uninspired in the kitchen, Indian recipes such as this palak paneer recipe are my go-to. Of course, the fact that Kristaps also loves Indian food is a big plus, and his keenness to try new dishes is motivating.
Is this recipe vegan?
Paneer is a type of Indian cottage cheese, so in brief, this recipe is vegetarian but not vegan. However, if you’d like to make a plant-based version of this recipe, we suggest substituting the paneer with tofu. Considering that a substantial percentage of Indians are vegetarian, there are lots of delicious vegetarian Indian recipes that can also be easily veganised, similarly to palak paneer.
Why does this recipe use frozen spinach or “palak”?
We used frozen spinach in this recipe, simply because of availability and convenience. This recipe calls for a generous quantity of spinach, which can be more difficult to get a hold of during the colder months in the Nordics. Frozen spinach is less hassle, more easily available, and a cheaper option too. The downside of using frozen spinach is that it simply brings less flavour to the dish, so in case you can use fresh spinach – that brings out the most authentic flavours.
What can I pair palak paneer with?
Traditionally, palak paneer would be paired with jasmine rice or a flatbread such as “Makki ki roti” which translates as cornmeal flour bread. Other options to enjoy this tasty curry would be with brown rice or Indian flatbreads such as roti and naan.
Overall, palak paneer is a delicious, comforting, and versatile dish that is perfect for any meal. Whether you're a foodie or not, it's a must-try for anyone who is already a fan of Indian cuisine or looking to explore it.
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