Friday, June 17, 2016

Palak Paneer (Spinach with Cottage Cheese) # 2 【菠菜奶豆腐 # 2】

My family in Malaysia loved North Indian Cuisine, there is a very nice Indian restaurant that sells naan and Tandoori chicken name "Pak Putra" in Melaka. It is a roadside hawker style restaurant, they have all the chairs and tables lined up at the roadside in front of the shop every evening.  

We made special trips there when N and I visiting Malaysia, he is always delighted to go there for his Indian food fixed. 

Pak Putra made very good spinach curry without paneer, I find it very funny at first, they called it "Palak", without the word paneer. I guess it is because fresh Indian Cottage cheese is hard to find in Melaka.

So my family in Malaysia are so used to the palak gravy that they thought it is how it should be eaten. They have no idea about the famous Northern Indian dish called Palak paneer, until mom and brother visited US and I made it one day and they were like :" Oh this is the real thing?". 

They liked it very much though mom couldn't really get along with the idea of eating "tofu" with spinach. She has learned it somewhere on the internet that calcium in tofu will react to oxalate in the spinach and promotes the formation of kidney stones or some sort of rumor like that.

So, even though I have repeatedly told her that it is just a myth and paneer isn't really tofu, she still eats only the spinach gravy but not the paneer. I guess old habits die hard then.

我的家乡马六甲有一间北印餐厅叫做 "Pak Putra" , 是一家把餐桌和椅子摆在路边的路边摊式餐厅。他们家的印度馕和各式咖喱都很不错,烤鸡更是远近驰名。不少到马六甲玩的外国游客都闻名去尝鲜呢!


后来我有一天做了这个菠菜奶豆腐,我妈一吃,说:”唉呀!这就是Pak Putra的菠菜咖喱嘛!“。看来我的猜测不错哦!

1 big bunch of spinach
200 gms of Paneer (Cubed)
4-5 cloves of garlic (Chopped)
2-3 green chilli
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Cummin Seed (Jeera)
1/2 tsp of Garam Masala
1-2 tbsp of cream  Optional

1 大把的菠菜 (大约400克)
200 gms 奶豆腐 Paneer (切块)
1 tsp 姜蒜蓉/ginger garlic paste
4-5 瓣的蒜瓣 (切碎)
2-3 只青辣椒
1 1/2 tsp 食盐
1 tsp 孜然 (Jeera)
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1-2 tbsp 奶油/cream  Optional

1. Blanched spinach and green chili, drain and wash with cold water (This is crucial to retain the beautiful green color of spinach). Use a mixer to blend spinach, chili and ginger garlic paste to form a paste. Remember not to use too much water to blend as you don't want the result to be too watery.

2. In a cooking pan, heat up 1-2 tsp of butter, shallow fry the paneer pieces until browned. Keep aside.

3. In a cooking pot, heat up 2 tbsp of cooking oil, stir in chopped garlic, cook for 2-3 minutes, then add in the cumin seed. When the garlics become slightly browned and cumin seeds splutter, pour in spinach paste and cook for 3-5 minutes.

4. Season with salt and garam masala, add in the paneer pieces and continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes. Add some cream before serving if you wish.

Serve the palak paneer with roti or rice.

I also have another version of Palak Paneer that requires no Blender to cook

1. 把菠菜和青辣椒用热水烫过,然后冷水洗净。(这样做菠菜糊糊会保持翠绿的颜色。)然后把菠菜和青辣椒,加上姜蒜蓉和一点水搅拌成糊状。
2. 在一口平底锅里把奶豆腐煎成稍微有点金黄色。备用。
3. 在一口锅里加入2 tbsp食油或Ghee,倒入蒜末,煸炒2-3分钟后加入孜然。当孜然和蒜蓉都煸香的时候,倒入菠菜胡,继续煮3-5 分钟。

4. 加入盐和garam masala调味,把奶豆腐加入,再焖煮3-5分钟即可,吃之前可以加点奶油。



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