My Little Hong Kong Kitchen Comfort Food: Palak Paneer AKA Spinach Curry

Palak paneer is Indian comfort food at its best: a creamy, spinach curry with even creamier pieces of paneer cheese. I couldn’t get hold of paneer so I substituted in halloumi, which worked a treat. This is an easy, healthy and warming dinner thanks to the large amounts of spinach and Indian spices. I added a splash of cream towards the end but you can use Greek yoghurt to keep things a little more virtuous.

Ingredients

  • 500g frozen chopped spinach
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 small green Thai/Birdseye chili
  • 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil/raw butter
  • 1 tsp whole cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2/3 tbsp yoghurt 
  • 250g paneer/halloumi

Directions

  1. Begin by steaming the frozen spinach over a pan of boiling water in a steaming basket or colander for 5-10 minutes until soft and wilted. Once steamed, place in a bowl and allow to cool slightly.
  2. In a food processor, place the peeled and coarsely chopped onions and blitz for ten seconds. Add in the crushed garlic cloves, chopped green chili and grated ginger. Pulse to combine the ingredients. Finally,  add in the cooled chopped spinach and blitz for 30 seconds until smooth.
  3. In a pan, warm the coconut oil or butter and add in the cumin seeds and bay leaf. Allow to infuse for a minute or so and then add in the spinach mixture. Simmer for 5-10 minutes and then add in the remaining spices and salt. Cook for another ten minutes.
  4. To finish the curry, add in the cream/yogurt and stir to incorporate for the final five minutes. Cube the halloumi/paneer and fry in a dry pan for a minute or two until golden (you will need a little oil or butter if using paneer). Serve the cooked pieces on top of the spinach curry alongside fluffy basmati rice. 

Laura Williams is a Hong Kong expat and part time Native English Teacher, food blogger and photographer. She created My Little Hong Kong Kitchen 18 months ago to share her passion for good food and great produce. Her mission is to create delicious recipes that are easy to follow, healthy and practical to make at home whether cooking for yourself or your whole family. Follow her and her incredible food photography on Instagram and make sure to like her Facebook page. 

Photo by Laura Williams.