Palak paneer is a familiar dish you will find in an Indian takeaway menu. I tend to think of it as a winter dish but when I was flicking through Made in India - Meera Sodha's wonderful new cookbook - I saw a lighter, summery version of this dish which convinced me to buy the book. I had had a similar thought myself - to make the dish with just wilted fresh spinach, but the red cherry tomatoes shone from the page. This is my favourite version of the many recipes I have tried and it made a lovely supper, served with plain rice, sat out in the garden in the sunshine last night.
I medium red onion
20g grated ginger
2 cloves garlic
2 green chillis, or to taste
200g cherry tomatoes, halved.
1 tablespoon tomato purée, (sundried tomato purée works well too)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder, or to taste
300g fresh spinach leaves
Cube the paneer and fry them in a little oil until golden. If you are using fresh paneer then frying is not necessary but I still prefer it lightly fried. Drain on a paper towel.
Fry the finely chopped red onions in 2tbs oil until golden. Add the garlic, ginger and chillis and stir for a minute then add the tomatoes and purée. Cook for 5 - 10 minutes until the tomatoes become soft and begin to breakdown. Stir in the spices and season to taste - I add 1/2 tsp salt. Add the paneer and stir to coat.
Add the chopped spinach a handful at a time allowing to wilt. Gently cook for a further 5 mins. You can add a squeeze of lime if you like.
Serve with rice or bread.