Not a “you must never have heard of it” kind of dish. But more like “you wouldn’t have prepared Paneer using this method “ sorts..
Or maybe I should say that just about myself. I had never heard of this dish before. at least before I got this chance to watch an episode of “Turban Tadka” by the famous Masterchef Harpal Singh Sokhi.
I have had my moments with mint, mostly in chutneys and sometimes in this Mint raita. And obviously I love Palak paneer but the most I have gone adventurous with it is in this Paalak Malai paneer. But mint spinach paneer. Naah!
Anyway, how I dealt with this saga, that’s a topic for another day. But I used up that mint in this recipe.
I was amused at the result. The dish turned out to be pretty amazing and delicious. The use of cashews brought a natural creaminess to the dish which complimented the greens very well. Note to self- try more recipes with cashews and green vegetables.
Since this is a typical Punjabi dish, it uses some whole spices too, which makes it very flavourful. In the original recipe, Chef Sokhi had not used spinach but I had some lying in the fridge so I added it to the dish. This combination of all the three green leaves (mint, spinach and coriander ) tasted so awesome with Paneer.
Usually when we have Paneer dishes, we make them either with gravy or without gravy. This one is also different since this is a semi-gravy dish, neither dry nor runny. So it goes very well with Chapathis, roti or Paranthas. Usually I serve this curry with a healthy raita (yogurt dip) like Okra raita or roasted garlic raita or spring onion raita etc.
Coming to the topic of mint .. Honestly, this fragrant herb amazed me with its uplifting but not so dominant presence. I read a bit more about mint after having this, and got to know more about its benefits. And since then I have pinned more than 20 recipes already on Pinterest so I could use it more and more while the season lasts.
Some of the Health benefits of Mint are :-
- Relieves indigestion
- Fights aches and pains
- Gives you glowing and acne free skin
- Helps relieve cough and asthma
- Helps fight oral infections
- Helps relieve the pain associated with menstrual cramps
- Boosts immunity
- Beats morning sickness in pregnant women
- Helps fight cancer
- Beats stress and depression
Nutritional info: Gluten free and low in calories. Excellent source of calcium, antioxidants, iron and vitamin A. Aids in digestion and fights fatigue.
Saag paneer pudina
- 400-500 in gms Paneer – chopped cubes and soaked in warm water
- 1 leaves bunch of mint – 150 gms approx.
- 1 bunch of coriander – 100 gms approx.
- 1 cup spinach – 100 gms approx.
- ½ cup cashews
- 2 large onions chopped small
- 1 inch piece of ginger – grated sliced thin
- 2-3 Green Chilies
- 5-6 cloves of Garlic minced or chopped small
- 2 tbsp oil + 1 tbsp
- 1 pod of Black cardamom Badi elaichi
- 2-3 pods of green cardamom Hari Elaichi
- 2 cloves pods of Laung
- 1 piece small of Cinnamon Daal Chini
- 1 tsp of Cumin seeds Jeera
- 1 tsp of coriander seeds
- 1 tsp of turmeric
- Salt to taste
- leaves Some extra of mint and coriander for garnish
Clean all the green leaves properly and drain well. Once all the water is drained off, chop them roughly and keep aside all together.
Chop the paneer into equal sized cubes/ rectangles and keep them aside soaked in warm water
In a Pan, heat the oil. Throw in cumin seeds and let them splutter. Once they turn light brown, add ginger, green chillies and garlic and fry them for half a minute or so.
Now, turn the flame to low and add cashews with a pinch of salt to the pan. Sauté for next 10-15 seconds till they turn slight brown.
Add all the chopped greens ( Mint, coriander and Spinach ) and let it cook covered for next 2-3 minutes till all the green leaves just wilt down.
Add turmeric to this, mix and turn off the flame. Transfer to another mixing bowl and allow it to cool. Once it has cool down a bit, blend it to a paste and keep aside.
Now, in the same pan heat another tbsp. of oil and throw in the whole spices ( big cardamom, green cardamom, cinnamon and clove). Fry these for almost half a minute.
Then add chopped onion and sauté it till it turns translucent, takes almost 4-5 minutes if the oil is hot enough.
Once its done nicely, add Paneer cubes, water and salt to taste and cook covered for next 2-3 minutes.
Open up the lid, pour in the blended Greens paste and mix well. Cook this Curry for another 20-25 minutes now, till it reaches your desired thickness. Keep stirring in between, and check seasoning before turning off.
Transfer in a serving bowl, garnish with more mint and coriander leaves if desired and dollops of butter on top.. Enjoy with Fresh Naan or Saffron rice aside.
Soaking paneer cubes in warm water while you are doing other stuff will keep them soft and prevent them from drying and will also release any impurities if at all. You may also soak them in warm milk instead of water.
Since this is a semi dry curry, its best to be eaten with Chapathi or Naan rather than rice. But still if you want rice aside, try for mildly spiced dishes like Lemon rice, Garlic rice etc. If you go for Biryani or simple boiled rice it might not taste great.
Paneer Makhani– no onion no garlic recipe
Kadhayi Paneer – No onion no garlic recipe