Greens curry is one of the most favorite curries not only for Indians but also for the foodies around the globe. Greens curry is a traditional winter curry prepared using different leafy greens & paneer (cottage cheese) in India. Palak paneer is the most commonly prepared curry using palak (spinach) whereas saag paneer is prepared using mustard leaves popular mainly in Odisha, West Bengal, Kashmir & Punjab.
Obviously palak is one of the most hot-selling and fast-disappearing greens at the vegetable shops in our locality and it is mainly used for making palak paneer. But I feel it is absurd to leave plenty of native leafy greens untouched and queue up for quite a few bundles of Delhi palak being sold like hot cakes. Actually we can make creamier curry using native greens such as arai keerai, mulaikeerai, thandu keerai, ponnanganni keerai, pasalai keerai, etc. and only a few greens like murungai keerai, manathakkali keerai, or agathi keerai that taste bitter are not suitable for making this curry.
I have prepared greens curry using mulaikeerai that goes very well with naan, roti, chappathi, parantha, or pulav and it is as delicious as palak paneer but creamier than palak paneer. Now the recipe for greens curry with paneer is as below:
|Leafy greens||2 bundles|
|Cottage cheese triangles (or cubes/ diamonds)||as desired|
|Cumin seeds||1/2 tsp|
|Cumin seeds powder||1/2 tsp|
|Curry powder (I used Everest Kitchen King masala)||1 tsp|
|Dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)||1/2 tsp (optional)|
|1||Wash the greens and steam for 5 minutes. |
Blend them at room temperature along with green chillies until pureed.
|2||Chop onion & tomatoes finely.|
Mince ginger & garlic using fine-toothed grater.
|3||Heat a pan with ghee in medium flame.|
Add cumin seeds, minced ginger & garlic and saute for a minute.
Add finely chopped onion & saute until translucent.
Add cumin seeds powder and fry for 10 sec.
Add chopped tomatoes and saute until mushy.
|4||Add curry powder followed by water (200 ml) and bring it to boil in high flame.|
Add paneer triangles, cover the pan and simmer for 5-7 min.
|5||Add pureed greens and gently mix well without breaking the paneer triangles.|
Simmer greens curry for 2-3 minutes and remove from fire.
|6||Serve greens curry with cottage cheese triangles with naan, roti, chapathi, or pulao.|
|1||Adding ghee to the greens would elevate the dish to a whole new level as greens & ghee (keerai & nei) is the delicious pair.|
|2||I usually add 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder and fry along with cumin powder for adding bright green color to this curry, but here I missed to add it. It may sound strange that stir-frying turmeric powder enhances the green color of leafy vegetables, but it really works.|
|3||Some may like to add fresh cream to make this curry rich & creamy, but I prefer to increase the volume of greens puree to make it creamy and also use ghee in place of oil for the delicious aroma.|
|4||I like to use green chillies instead of red chilli powder as it does not have an effect on the color of greens curry.|
|5||We can replace paneer (cottage cheese) with tofu, baby potatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower florets, baby corn, or textured soya in this curry.|