This uses a spice that is not readily available. If you can find Vadagam, this dish is worth the incredible flavor it delivers. The tanginess from the tamarind paste makes your mouth water for the next bite.
It's hard to make this dish look beautiful, but the taste is unbelievable. I used black caviar lentils from Rancho Gordo beans for this recipe - you can use any black or green lentil. I love the small black tender lentils in this dish!
I have to say this is my all time favorite Indian food! I will make my own paneer for this dish, but you do not have to. You can buy paneer in almost any grocery store today. It is sold as a block of cheese with a firm texture that you can cut. I like to brown my paneer, but this is not typically done for this dish. Just cut the cheese in small squares and add directly to the spinach mixture. This recipe won the taste test in the kitchen with the kids. You may also see Saag Paneer which is a very similar dish, but it can use different greens. Palak Paneer is just spinach.