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 the 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 the 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 a palak paneer kind of dish. Hence the dish is Paneer Curry using Cauliflower Leaves. The color and taste of the curry here are 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 the 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 1-2 minutes or until wilted and immediately transfer to a bowl full of water (to retain the green color). When cools down, put it in a blender jar along with green chili. Make a smooth puree out of it and keep it 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 the ginger-garlic paste. Allow cooking 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 the heat and add the cream. Mix gently and the dish is ready to serve!
Dietary Notes :
✔ Side dish
✔ Make-ahead recipe
💡Tips to keep the green color in the curry?
👉 Don’t blanch the leaves for a long time, Once start to wilt take out from the pan and dip them in a bowl full of water.
👉 Don’t cover the pan at any point in time during cooking.
👉 Add a 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 at the same time makes it richer in look and texture. So when these greens are easily available during winter days, then why not include them in the recipe like this Paneer curry. Make sometime surely for a change and I can assure you no one will guess which greens are used in the curry here!
Event-related to this post :
Well, the November month challenge in the ‘Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge‘ group was ‘Fresh Winter Veggies’. The theme was suggested by Preethi Prasad, 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 Masala Powder & Turmeric Powder and I gave her 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 👇
: Recipe Card :
Paneer Curry using Cauliflower Leaves
an interesting twist to the most popular Palak Paneer by using the tender cauliflower leaves
- Cauliflower leaf (tender one) (tightly packed) 2 cup
- Paneer cube 1.5 cup
- Tomato (medium) 1 no.
- Onion (medium) 2 no.
- Ginger-garlic paste 2 tsp
- Green chili 3-4 no.
- Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
- Coriander powder 1/2 tsp
- Garam masala powder 1 tsp
- Cumin seed 1/2 tsp
- Bay leaf 1 no.
- Clove 2 no.
- Cinnamon stick 1 inch
- Cream 2 tsp
- Butter 1 tbsp
- Oil 1 tbsp
- Sugar 1/4 tsp
- Salt as needed
- Water as needed
- Make a fine paste of 1 onion and 1 tomato. Keep aside.
- Finely chop the other onion and keep aside.
- In a pan heat enough water.
- When it comes to boil, add salt and the tender cauliflower leaves.
- Blanch the leaves for 1-2 minutes or until wilted and immediately transfer to a bowl full of water (to retain the green color).
- When cools down, put it in a blender jar along with green chili.
- Make a smooth puree and keep aside.
- Now heat oil in a pan and fry the paneer cubes until lightly golden color from all the sides.
- Transfer to a plate and into 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 the ginger-garlic paste.
- Allow cooking 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.
- Turn off the heat and add the cream.
- Mix gently and serve hot with naan/jeera rice!
The sugar addition is optional. It is added to balance the bitterness of the leaves along with the cream.
Paneer cubes can be added directly to the curry without frying a bit.
Adjust the spiciness by adding less / more green chilies.
Instead of cream, milk can be added too.
Paneer curry, Vegetarian Side dish, Winter green,
Vegetarian, side dish, Cauliflower leaves, gluten free,
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Wow! That's a brilliant way to save cauliflower leaves from getting wasted. Out of all the greens, I've never tried cooking with these. Now I'm excited to try this recipe.
Totally amazing, using cauliflower green leaves to replace palak and make a delicious sabji. Would love to try when I get really fresh cauliflower with good leaves on it.
what a innovative idea to use the green leaves of cauliflower. Looks absolutely scrumptious, creamy and delicious. Would love to try it soon.
Wow this is amazing. I absolutely love the curry! Such a delicious n innovative idea. Love it now I have one more vegetable to try with the cauliflower leaves.
Absolutely brilliant recipe! I'd never have thought of using cauliflower leaves in a paneer gravy. Looks delicious and super inviting!
Good innovation dear. I use danthals but never tried leaves.We have learnt from our elders not to waste anything.Well done. It looks just like palak paneer.
What a brilliant use of cauliflower leaves! Looks so much like palak paneer but anyone would be surprised it isn't…
Gravy with cauliflower leaves is an interesting idea . The Paneer curry looks incredible. I love zero waste recipes.
Never used cauliflower leaves. Substituting spinach with cauliflower leaves in the paneer gravy is brilliant !
oh wow, this is so exciting. I have so far only sauteed these cauliflower leaves, this will be so exciting to try, yum.
big thumbs up for using those leaves in a curry Sasmita ! great job…
Wow Sasmita!! Cauliflower leaves curry look so good, just like the regular palak paneer curry. Wonderful share, loved it!!
I never knew cauliflower leaves are edible. This looks one of the best way to use them up. Great recipe Sasmita!
Interesting recipe Sasmita with cauliflower leaves. A good use of the ones which we generally throw. The dish looks absoloutely delicious.
Lovely one Sasmita. I have never used cauliflower leaves in my cooking, must try it next time. It looks like palak paneer itself.
A big round of clap for you to have used those cauliflower leaves so beautifully without wasting in a curry ..looks lipsmacking