Palak Paneer

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Blogging Marathon #41: Week 4/ Day 3
Theme: Iron Rich Recipes for Kids
Dish: Palak Paneer

From when I was a kid, if I were to name a food rich in Iron, I would say spinach. May be it was the emphasis that my mom and grandma made every time they made any types of greens, or maybe it was watching so many Popeye cartoon shows – somehow the fact that spinach is rich in iron got stuck to my mind. When I first picked the theme of Iron rich recipes for kids, I knew I had to make something with spinach. Checking nutritional facts I made my spinach dish last, although this was the first one I made, because compared to the other dishes I posted spinach measures low in a per serving dosage of iron. Per my references a 1/4 cup of cooked spinach yields 0.9 mg of iron, that is less than the other items I had posted.

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However, with dishes such as Palak paneer you get quite a big serving of spinach, which would make up for this fact. And also, who is not to love palak paneer. This recipe is a very old recipe that I had originally clipped out of ‘The Hindu’ newspaper’s saturday edition where Sanjeev Kapoor used to write a column. I have made it so many times over the years that I don’t even have to refer to the recipe anymore. It is a family favorite and we love to have it with rotis or phulkas for dinner.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#41

Sending this to Kids Delight – Iron Rich Recipes event hosted by Kalyani, event series by Valli.

Ingredients:
1 bunch of spinach, washed
1 cup of cubed paneer
2 tsp oil
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
3 green chillies
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 – 3 tomatoes
2 tbsp cream, optional
salt to taste

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Method:
Bring a pot of water to rolling boil. Mark an ‘X’ shape on the tomatoes and drop them into the boiling water. Let it blanch for about 2-3 minutes.Remove and plunge in ice cold water immediately. You will see the skin of the tomatoes come off. Peel the skin and puree the tomatoes. Set aside.

In the same boiling water, blanch the spinach for 2 minutes. Plunge in ice cold water to stop the cooking. This will ensure the bright green color of the spinach. Squeeze all the water out and puree the spinach along with the green chillies.(I use the same blender jar as I used for the tomatoes.) Set aside.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the diced onion and saute until golden brown. Add the ginger garlic paste and saute until the raw smell of ginger and garlic goes away. Add the cumin, coriander powder and saute the spices. Add the pureed tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes. Don’t add too much tomato puree. You will need half the amount of tomato puree as your spinach puree. When the tomatoes cook along with the spices, they tend to splutter, so cover partially with a lid. Finally add in the spinach puree and salt to taste and let this come to a boil. Add the paneer cubes and cream if using and simmer for another 5 minutes.

I have not fried the paneer this time. Sometimes I do that. It doesn’t really contribute to the taste, but the texture of the paneer softens a bit when you fry it. You can try it either way and choose which one you like.

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Verdict: The palak paneer is vibrant green and almost silky and creamy curry. Accentuated with the rich paneer cubes it makes an iron rich, protein rich dish that kids will love. You can serve it with rotis or naan or a pulav.

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11 Comments

  1. I love palak paneer. I am low in iron, but my doctor in Seattle used to tell me not to have food sources of iron along with those that provide calcium because calcium inhibits the absorption of iron. So palak paneer would be just that combination, unfortunately. And she used to say that iron should be accompanied with vitamin C. So tomato is good. And she would recommend cooking in an cast iron dish.

    • Denny

      Hi Sarah, I’ve read the best ways to make any food iron rich is to cook it in a cast iron dish. especially if you cook red meats in cast iron pan, they are very rich in iron. I forgot to tell you, you recommended Cinsulin for diabetes, my levels have come down after taking it. Thanks for the tip! Do plan on visiting Seattle, we miss you!

      • Sarah Mathew

        Denise, I am so glad Cinsulin is working. Praise God. I also have to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. And your pictures are so well taken and each dish looks scrumptious. God bless you all. Miss you all so much. Hugs to the kids.

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