heat oil or ghee or butter in a pan or kadai. If using butter, melt it a low flame making sure that the butter does not brown.
Add the cumin and let them splutter.
add the bay leaf.
Add the finely chopped onions. saute till the onions become golden.
Add the finely chopped garlic. saute till the raw aroma of garlic goes away. no need to brown the garlic.
Add the chopped tomatoes. stir and saute the tomatoes till they soften.
Once the tomatoes are softened and you see fat releasing from the sides of the mixture. then add the turmeric powder, red chili powder and asafoetida/hing.
Stir very well.
then add the palak puree.
add about ⅓ to ½ cup water or as required. stir again.
Simmer for 6-7 minutes or more till the palak or spinach is cooked. season with salt. the sauce will also thicken by now.
Stir and add garam masala powder.
Stir again and then add the paneer cubes.
Stir gently and simmer on a low flame till the paneer cubes become soft and succulent, about 1 to 2 minutes.
lastly add cream. stir gently again so that the cream gets incorporated in the palak paneer. Turn off the flame.
Stir and serve the palak paneer hot with some naan and/or rice. you can top the palak paneer with some butter or cream also while serving. also drizzle a few drops of lime or lemon juice on top along with ginger julienne.