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Foodstuff: Patel Brand Palak Paneer

This is the second of Patel’s line of pre-prepared Indian dishes that I am featuring as a ‘Foodstuffs’ post, the first being their Peas Pulav, which I wasn’t very keen on. My wife and I have actually tried this particular product before and it is actually not that bad…

Paneer, if you are unfamiliar with the name, is an Indian version of cottage cheese wherein milk is coagulated with an acid (typically lemon juice or vinegar) and then pressed with weights to form a solid block, which is then generally cut into cubes. ‘Palak’ is simple the Hindi name for spinach, which, in this case, is pureed to form the sauce.

As you can see, the product, once opened, is not quite as pretty as the picture on the package, but it does have a lovely aroma. I have emptied the contents of the inner packet into a micro-waveable container because, as I have learnt from past experience, the contents are darned difficult to handle if you cook them inside the packet as directed.

Unlike many Indian food products, Patel’s actually lists the ingredients in full rather than simple specifying ‘Spices’. Paneer, especially when cooked with peas, is often cooked in a tomato-based sauce and the listing of tomatoes as an ingredient in this recipe is a bit of surprise. The use of Star Anise is also rather unusual and not commonly seen in Indian recipes but the rest of the spice blend is pretty decent and it would be interesting to try and reproduce the sauce sometime.

The Verdict

I cooked the contents in the microwave for two minutes as directed and served it alongside a couple of other dishes as part of an Indian meal. As you can see, the cooked product is still nowhere as pretty as the package picture, nor as fresh as it would be if made from scratch, but it was nevertheless enjoyable. The spice blend is very nice and has just a hint of heat to make it interesting. The only things I don’t like about it is that Patel’s is a little chintzy with the paneer (which is odd since it is hardly an expensive item), and the sauce really lacks very much in the way of texture. On the whole, I would prefer it to be made with chopped rather than pureed spinach. Ultimately, I will probably but this product again (and I urge my readers to at least give it a try) but, to be honest, my next experience with Palak Paneer will be a homemade version…


8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Palak Paneer is my favorite Indian dish ever!

    July 4, 2012
  2. I’m going to post a homemade version sometime soon 🙂

    July 4, 2012
  3. I am following your foray into these exotic foods with great interest. It is lovely, sometimes, not to make food from scratch, especially at the end of a very busy day. Having these ready made dishes on hand is extremely handy. Virginia

    July 5, 2012
  4. One of my favourite Indian dishes! I have only tried the packet type once out of interest and like you thought it was a bit on the mean side with the Paneer… Much prefer to make my own and fresh Paneer cheese is easily available nowadays in our local supermarket so just waiting now until I have a glut of spinach in the garden then I too will be making batches of it to store in the freezer-yum!

    July 6, 2012
    • It has usually been my wife who has made fresh paneer in our house but I think I may give it a try.

      July 6, 2012
  5. I made palak paneer for the first time this year using one of Tahmina’s recipes from her blog Kolpona Cuisine. It was amazing! Definitely better than anything I have ever had!

    July 6, 2012
    • I read that post too … I’m going to be trying paneer myself soon (my wife does an excellent job already).

      July 6, 2012

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