Indian cuisine is extraordinary and I cook a lot of it. Curries are often about the sauce, or gravy, and few are better than palak paneer – especially with the cubes of paneer.
- 200 g baby spinach leaves
- 50 g raw cashews
- 3 tbsp ghee
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 red chillies, finely chopped
- 2 onions, diced
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 200 g paneer, cut into 2-cm cubes
- steamed jasmine rice, to serve
- 200 g plain Greek yoghurt
- large handful mint leaves, chopped
- 1 short cucumber, grated
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the spinach leaves and cook for 30 seconds or until wilted, then drain and place in a bowl of iced water to help retain the colour. Drain again, then squeeze out the excess water. Place the spinach and cashews in a blender and process into a smooth puree.
- Heat a heavy–based frying over medium heat. Add the ghee, garlic, cumin seeds, chilli and onion and cook, stirring regularly for 5-6 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the tomato, cook for another 3–4 minutes or until softened. Stir in the garam masala and ground coriander, then add the spinach puree and season to taste.
Add the paneer and simmer gently for 4-5 minutes or until heated through and softened.
- Meanwhile, for the raita, place the yoghurt and mint in a bowl and grate the cucumber straight into the bowl. Stir to combine and season with salt.
- Serve the palak paneer with steamed jasmine rice and raita.
Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.
Photography by Danielle Abou Karam.