an interesting twist to the most popular Palak Paneer by using the tender cauliflower leaves
Winter and leafy vegetables !
The chilly winters are here. Hence the grocery stores are flooded with seasonal produce. One of the best things about winter produce is the wide array of fresh vegetables. From cabbage, broccoli, Cauliflower, beetroot to a wide variety of greens (saag in Hindi) like palak (spinach), methi (fenugreek), sarso (mustard) etc. are the few to mention here from this season. I love this winter season specifically as it brings a whole lot of greens with its amazing nutritional value.
Today's post is using the green leaves of cauliflower. If you like palak Paneer in a vegetarian menu spread, then here I have come up with an interesting twist to that dish. No one will guess that this paneer Curry is not prepared using spinach aka palak.
What is the difference between this curry and palak paneer ?
After washing and cleaning store bought cauliflowers, I simply discard the green leaves of it and keep the cauliflower head in refrigerator. This time, while doing that an idea came to my mind as instead of throwing out why not to use in our recipes ?
And voila !! here is the recipe using those leaves. I have used the tender cauliflower leaves instead of palak / spinach leaves to make palak paneer kind of dish. Hence the dish is Paneer Curry using Cauliflower Leaves. The color and taste of the curry here is quite similar to that of palak paneer.
Ingredients needed here -
- Cauliflower leaf - Discard the outer leaves of a whole cauliflower and pick the tender inner ones.
- Paneer cube - Paneer cubes can be added either directly to the curry or after frying a bit until lightly golden color from all the sides.
- Masala paste - Onion, tomato and ginger-garlic paste is used here.
- Green chili - Adds the spiciness in the curry. Adjust as required by adding less / more green chilies.
- Spice powder - I have used turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder here.
- Whole spice - I have used cumin seeds, bay leaf, clove, cinnamon stick.
- Cream - Any cream can be used here to give that extra creaminess in the curry. Instead of cream, milk can be added too.
- Butter & oil - Both are used here.
- Sugar - This addition is optional. It is added to balance the bitterness of the leaves along with cream.
- Salt - It balances the taste of the whole dish.
- Water - to blanch the leaves and adjust the consistency of the curry.
What are the steps to make this paneer curry ?
➤ Make the puree of the leaves -
In a pan heat enough water. When it comes to boil, add salt and the tender cauliflower leaves. Blanch the leaves for 2-3 minutes or until wilted and immediately transfer to a bowl full of water (to retain the green color). When cools down, put in a blender jar along with green chili. Make a smooth puree out of it and keep aside.
➤ Prepare the paneer cubes -
Heat oil in a pan and put the paneer cubes. Fry the paneer cubes until lightly golden color from all the sides over low-medium heat. Transfer to a plate and keep aside.
➤ Make the curry -
Into the same pan (with the remaining oil in the pan), add butter. When butter melts add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, clove and cumin seeds. Soon the spices start to splutter, then add finely chopped onion. Saute until translucent and then add the onion-tomato paste along with ginger-garlic paste. Allow to cook for 1 minute. Then add turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder. Mix and allow to cook till oil comes out from the masala paste over low-medium heat. Now add the puree, 1/2 cup water, sugar and salt. Mix well and then add the paneer cubes. Give a quick mix again and allow to cook for 5-10 minutes over low heat. Finally turn off heat and add the cream. Mix gently and the dish is ready to serve !
Dietary Notes :
✔ Side dish✔ Gluten free
✔ Make ahead recipe
💡Tips to keep the green color in the curry ?
👉 Don't cover the pan at any point of time during cooking.
👉 Add very less amount of turmeric powder.
👉 Don't use whole red chili / red chili powder.
👉 Always prefer green chili for the spiciness in the curry.
Serving suggestion -
Paneer cooked with the cauliflower tender leaves and spices is so creamy and is a flavorful curry. This pairs very well with naan, roti, paratha or even ghee rice, jeera rice etc.
The cream perfectly cuts down the bitterness of the leaves and in the same time makes it more rich in look and texture. So when these greens are easily available during winter days, then why not to include in the recipe like this Paneer curry. Make sometime surely for a change and I can assure no one will guess which greens are used in the curry here !
Event related to this post :
Well, the November month challenge in 'Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge' group was 'Fresh Winter Veggies'. The theme was suggested by Preethi Prasad, she is a kind hearted co-blogger and I like her most recipes. Well for the current theme, I was partnered with Narmadha (blogs at Nams Corner) who gave me 2 secret ingredients as Garam Madala Powder & Turmeric Powder and I gave her as Kohlrabi & Red chili. Do check this Kohlrabi Poriyal prepared by her 😊 And as usual, using my two ingredients I have come up with Paneer Curry using Cauliflower Leaves for theme contribution.
And, yes !!!
If you like the recipe shared here and give a try at your place then do share in INSTAGRAM by tagging #firsttimercook. I would be so happy to see and surely share in my INSTA stories 😊😊
Now let’s go through how to make "Paneer Curry using Cauliflower Leaves" at home 👇
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