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If you love Indian food, you are going to love this recipe for the renowned spinach and paneer curry. Spinach can impart a slight bitterness to recipes like this. By adding a little low carb sweetener from our range of monk fruit/stevia, erythritol, xylitol or coconut sugar, you can counterbalance the bitterness, with the end result tasting like an authentic curry you might order in an Indian restaurant.
Sourcing paneer can sometimes be a problem but you will always find it in Indian grocery stores, either in the freezer section or fresh in the fridge. Occasionally you can find it in supermarkets and smaller stores as well. You can pay up to $8 or $9 for paneer but to save money you can also make your own.
Making your own is really quick and easy to do. Basically the cost will only be what you paid for 2 litres/2 quarts of milk- for me this is about $3.00. Make sure you use full fat fresh milk for the best results. UHT milk won't give you a great yield in this recipe so make sure you avoid it. You can also increase the creaminess of your paneer by adding some additional pure/heavy cream.
To Make Your Own Paneer
I make my own paneer sometimes and it is really simple to do. To make enough for this recipe I use 2 litres or about 2 quarts of fresh full fat full cream milk (not UHT milk) and the yield ends up being about 250gms/ 8.8 oz. The higher the fat content of your milk the creamier the paneer which is what you want and remember to add cream for a creamier paneer. If you don't have the time to make your own just use store bought paneer.
Quick and Easy Vegan Version
To convert this recipe to a vegan dish, simply switch the paneer for tofu and use coconut cream in place of the heavy cream. This doesn't impact on the flavors at all and creates a flavorsome, healthy dish that you are going to love.
How To Serve Low Carb Palak Paneer
Serve Palak Paneer simply on it's own with cauliflower rice and a piece of this delicious Low Carb Naan Bread. If you are serving Indian curries and need a vegetarian side dish, this is always a crowd favorite.
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:15 minutes
- 500 gms frozen chopped leaf spinach defrosted -see notes for using fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1 large tomato cut into chunks
- 1½ teaspoon minced ginger
- ½ teaspoon minced red chili to taste
- 1 small green chili
- ½ cup water
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ tablespoon EVOO extra virgin olive oil or oil of choice
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 4 teaspoons garlic minced
- 1½ teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon monk fruit or to taste/ sweetener of choice
- ¾ teaspoon salt or to taste
- 3 tablespoons pure/heavy cream or to taste
- 250 grams paneer cut into cubes
- A generous squeeze of lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves for garnish if you can source
Blitz the spinach, tomato, ginger and green and red chili and water in a blender until smooth.
Heat a heavy frying pan on medium heat. Add the oil, garlic and the onions. Sauté for 5-7 minutes until onion is soft and translucent.
Add the pureed spinach mixture and gently simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir regularly to prevent sticking.
Once the spinach is cooked, add the turmeric, garam masala and turmeric powder. Mix through and cook for 1 minute.
Add sweetener and season with salt. Stir through the cream until well combined.
Stir the paneer through gently. Allow to simmer for a few minutes or until the paneer heats though. Remove from heat and stir through the lemon juice. If you can source fenugreek leaves, sprinkle on top before serving.
Serve hot with Indian curries, naan, roti or cauliflower rice/rice.
If using fresh spinach, add about 300 gms/ oz to a pot boiled water. Allow to sit for about 2 minutes then remove spinach with tongs into a colander. Pour cold water over the spinach and allow to drain before blitzing with the tomato, ginger and chili in step 1.
Fresh spinach will give you a brighter texture but I love the fact that you get more fibre by using the frozen chopped spinach as it includes the stalks as well. The color will be duller but the dish is slightly more nutritious.
For a vegan dish you can switch the paneer for tofu and use coconut cream to stir in at the end instead of cream.