Paneer reminds me of high school. I was in boarding school and once a week we had chilli paneer on the menu and after high school I really avoided it. I never really interacted with it again except on the odd occasion I'd go to an Indian restaurant and someone would order it. Then, I had this one friend called Ros (hi Mwendy!!!) who used to love Indian food and she almost always ordered palak paneer when we went out so I was gradually re-introduced to it.
Fast forward to my adulthood and I discovered a local cheese brand called Sirimon who make some lovely cheeses including paneer. I decided to buy it and make wht has turned out to be one my fave vegetarian dishes in the world. Palak paneer. Simply put this is paneer with spinach
500 grams paneer, diced
2 bunches, local spinach, washed and cut
4 whole green chilies
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 thumb of ginger, minced
1 tsp whole fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbs garam masala
Salt to taste
Take your spinach and chilli, and blend into a rough paste with a little bit of oil and water. Set this mix aside to use later.
Heat some oil in a pan and lightly brown the paneer and then set aside. In the same pan, add your onion, ginger and garlic and soften over a medium heat or until the onion is translucent (if the ginger starts to brown, lower the heat). Next, add the spices and let it cook for 5 minutes.
Add the spinach puree, paneer cubes and half a cup of water and let it simmer over a medium heat for 10 minutes.
Take off the heat and serve with a side of naan bread and some chutney.