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Indian palak paneer recipe

Indian palak paneer recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Vegetable
  • Leaf vegetables
  • Spinach

Cubed paneer is cooked to perfection with fresh spinach and the perfect balance of spices. Serve with some fluffy rice for a complete vegetarian meal.

5 people made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • cooking spray
  • 225g paneer, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 350ml water
  • 280g fresh spinach
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 dried red chillies, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh root ginger
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 pinch salt to taste

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:50min

  1. Heat a frying pan coated with cooking spray over medium heat; fry the paneer cubes until lightly browned on each side, about 5 minutes. Transfer paneer to a bowl.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil in the same frying pan used to cook paneer over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and cook until seeds are slightly red. Stir water, spinach, tomato, garlic, chilli peppers, ginger, curry powder, ground coriander, and ground turmeric into cumin seeds. Season with salt.
  3. Bring spinach mixture to the boil and simmer until garlic is very soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool.
  4. Transfer spinach mixture to a blender or food processor; puree until smooth.
  5. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil in a saucepan over medium heat; add spinach puree and paneer cubes. Simmer until hot, about 5 minutes.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(10)

Reviews in English (6)

by kassbee

This was good. I would definitely double or triple the recipe next time because two servings wasn't enough! I thought there was too much cheese for the amount of spinach mixture that 10 oz fresh spinach made.-04 Jun 2015

by Andria M. Redlin

I liked it, but it needs work. First of all, it could really use more salt. I had to add nearly two teaspoons (maybe more) to get it salty enough for me. Also, the amount of spices seemed a bit bland upon completing the dish. Keep in mind, I didn't have any fresh spices-only dried ones. I did 'bloom' the cumin in the pan in oil like it said, but next time I'll try 'blooming' all the spices together. I used fresh spinach, which seemed to create a lot of extra water, but I think if I tweak the recipe, it will turn out better.-06 May 2015

Palak Paneer – Indian Cheese-Spinach Curry

Palak Paneer is a delicious, hearty North Indian dish prepared with spinach and Indian cheese. This traditional vegetarian dish is a rich, smooth, creamy curry where paneer cubes are cooked in an onion-tomato-spinach based gravy which is moderately spiced with Indian spices.

I have tried various variations of the Palak Paneer curry and one of my favorites has been this particular recipe given to me by a dear Punjabi friend, Darshan.

The smooth and creamy consistency, melt in the mouth paneer cubes and the simple ingredients which go into making this dish give it a delightful subtle sweet flavor that is sure to keep you satisfied. This curry makes a great accompaniment with rotis, naan or hot steamed rice.

Recipe source: My friend Darshan

250 gms paneer (cubed and lightly fried till brown in a tsp of ghee)

3 big bunches spinach (discard the coarse stems) – blanch in hot water for 2 mts and make a paste and keep aside

1 ½-2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)

2 green chillis slit length wise

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

2 big juicy tomatoes (blanched in hot water, peeled and pureed)

1 cup water (use the water in which spinach was blanched)

½ tsp garam masala pwd (make a pwd of 2 cloves, 1 cardamom and 1” cinnamon stick)

¼ tsp kasuri methi (optional)

1 Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed vessel, add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add the onions and green chillis, sauté them till light brown.
2 Add ginger garlic paste and saute further for 3 minutes. Add red chilli pwd and coriander pwd and mix well.
3 Add the tomato paste and let it cook for 5-6 mts on medium heat. Add the palak paste and let it cook further for another 4-5 mts.
4 Add the fried paneer cubes and mix. Cook covered on low heat for 3 mts. Add the palak water and salt and cook on medium heat for 10-12 mts.
5 Add malai, garam masala pwd and kasuri methi and mix well.
6 Reduce flame, cover and cook for 2 mts.
7 Serve hot with rotis or white steamed rice or rotis.

You could also add paneer directly (without frying in ghee) to the cooked spinach. Another variation you could do with the spinach is coarsely chop the spinach and stir fry in a little ghee instead of pureeing it and add it (instead of the palak paste). But to get the creamy consistency, you have to blanch and puree the palak.

Palak Paneer

Palak paneer! A delicious Punjabi Indian dish made with Indian cheese (paneer) and a creamy spiced spinach gravy that goes perfectly well with naan, roti or rice. The best part is that this dish is vegetarian. Indian food has got to be one of my favourite cuisines to make. To say that Indian food has the perfect combination, use and balance of spices and ingredients would be a gross understatement. Have you eaten out at an Indian restaurant and been dumbfounded by how delicious everything is and just accepted you would never be able to make the same dishes at home? Well, this was my mindset for years until I decided to sit down, do some research on my favourite recipes and venture out to get all the ingredients I needed. If you live in Toronto, you are in luck because most of these ingredients can be found at big chain grocery stores and the ones that are harder to come by can be found at the smaller specialty spice stores in the city.

This recipe is from Dassana's Veg Recipes with the slightest modifications. She is a fantastic food blogger with tons and tons of Indian recipes, so you should check out her blog for more inspiration. With Indian cooking, like many other cuisines, two chefs can make the same recipe very differently and can tweak the recipe to their own taste. I love my dishes thicker and less liquidy or soupy, so I tend to reduce more or use less water, but that is the beauty of a dish like this. Keep the main key spices listed here the same. Try your best not to substitute and you will have a delicious tasting home-cooked Indian classic.

  • 1 cup = 240 ml
  1. Paneer – 250 gms
  2. Onion – 1/2 cup (paste)
  3. Olive oil – 1 tbsp
  4. Tomato – 1/3 cup (puree)
  5. Spinach – 1 cup (blanched and pureed)
  6. Ginger-garlic paste – 1/2 tbsp
  7. Green chilies – 5-7 (moderate heat)
  8. Cumin Powder – 1/2 tsp
  9. Coriander powder – 1/3 tsp
  10. Red chili powder – 1/3 tsp (moderate heat)
  11. Turmeric powder – 1/3 tsp
  12. Salt – as required
  13. Grain sugar – 1 tsp
  14. Fresh cream – 2 tbsp


  1. Cut the paneer into dices and soak it in lukewarm water.
  2. Blanch the spinach for a maximum of 1 minute.
  3. In a food processor, make onion and green chili paste, separately make tomato puree and then spinach puree.

Cooking Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil and shallow fry the paneer (optional)
  2. In the same pan add another 1/2 tsp of oil (If you are skipping the above step then add 1 tbsp of oil).
  3. Once it is heated, gently add onion-chili paste and ginger-garlic paste. Cook the mixture on low to medium flame, from time to time add water so that it doesn’t stick to the base.
  4. Once the above mixture browns slightly then add tomato puree, mix it and then add cumin powder, coriander powder, salt, sugar, red chili powder and garam masala powder.
  5. Cook the above masala until it starts releasing oil which you will notice after 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Add spinach puree.
  7. Add water to adjust consistency then add paneer and fresh cream.
  8. Lastly, check for the seasoning.
  9. Serve hot.

Recipe Summary

  • 5 cups fresh spinach
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green chile pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (1/2 inch) piece ginger, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • ½ cup water, or as needed
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chile powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 8 ounces paneer, cubed
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 4 teaspoons heavy cream
  • 1 pinch red chile flakes

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add spinach and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to keep spinach bright green.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add cumin seeds to hot oil so they sizzle. Add onion, chile, garlic, and ginger. Cook until onion is golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until soft, about 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool.

Transfer tomato mixture to a blender add blanched spinach. Blend to a thick, smooth paste thin with a few teaspoons water if needed.

Heat remaining oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add coriander, cumin, chile powder, and turmeric. Fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add spinach paste and cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add water and cook for 5 minutes more. Season gravy with salt.

Add paneer to the gravy and mix well to coat. Cook 5 minutes more. Add garam masala and cream. Stir and cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Garnish with chile flakes.

How Do I Make My Palak Paneer Creamy?

The creaminess of this dish typically comes from pureeing the mixture once cooked. While it may appear to include cream, it typically doesn't unless poured over the top before serving.

This is a simple dish with vegetables and layers of spices. While there are numerous ways to make this dish, all will have a similar flavor profile. If you prefer not to puree yours, it is perfectly fine to leave the vegetables as they are once finished cooking.

Food Safari's palak paneer

I was delighted to learn the secret of this beautiful green dish – and how to keep it green as well (by blanching the spinach, pureeing it and then cooking it only briefly in the finished dish). Instead of pureeing the spinach, you can chop it to achieve a more textured dish typically served in Indian homes. You can also substitute frozen spinach for fresh – and that’s already chopped! Paneer (firm Indian cottage cheese) is now available in supermarkets.



Skill level


  • 2 bunches spinach, leaves picked
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 cm piece ginger, crushed
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 200 g fresh or canned chopped tomatoes
  • salt
  • 225 g paneer, cubed
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • pinch of garam masala
  • 1 tbsp thickened cream

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Blanch the spinach in boiling water for 3–4 minutes, then refresh in cold water. Drain and squeeze out the excess water. Puree until smooth.

Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the cumin seeds, ginger, garlic and onion and fry until golden brown. Add the tomato and cook until they become a soft paste. Stir in the spinach puree and season with salt. Add the paneer and heat through. To finish, add the dried fenugreek leaves, garam masala and cream.

Health benefits of Palak Paneer (Spinach Paneer):

Many of you must be wondering is palak paneer healthy? And the answer is yes. It includes such ingredients that are full of health benefits.

Paneer is high in protein and calcium. It has a low amount of carbs so it gets digested easily. Spinach is a must for a healthy diet as it is one of the richest sources of iron and fiber. Tomatoes and onions as most of you know is one of the best sources of antioxidant and vitamin C.

A dish full of protein:

As most Indians are vegetarian, they have their own alternatives to meat, and paneer is on the top of that list. Paneer is rich source of protein and this dish contributes to the protein intake that is essential in building muscles and repairing body tissues. Paneer provides you all the amino acids you need and helps in gaining muscle mass.

It helps in lowering blood pressure:

Since palak paneer contains spinach, tomatoes, and onions which are full of antioxidant that helps in keeping cholesterol levels low and open up those arteries in your heart that are blocked. Spinach is known to contain folate or iron which is great for the cardiovascular system. The content of magnesium in spinach also helps you to lower high blood pressure.

Ultimate food for weight watchers:

When you are following any diet plan, do ensure you add palak paneer to it. This dish is very low in calories and has less fat. The best thing about this dish is that you can eat it in chunks especially spinach but still consume very little calories. It helps in controlling your appetite as it is a rich source of dietary fibers. So if you are looking for a full filling dish with a fat cutter this dish will benefit you a hundred percent.

Best food for pregnant women:

Palak paneer is great for women who are expecting a newborn. Paneer is a good source of calcium that helps in the overall skeletal development of the baby. Rich in vitamin A this dish as a whole boosts the immune system of the mother and her baby as well. The spinach in the dish also supplies a lot of iron which is essential for the development of a baby’s brain and nervous system.

Helps in improving the digestion process:

Paneer contains casein protein which gets digested by the body easily and spinach helps in protecting the mucous lining of the stomach and keeps away any digestive disorders.

A Diabetic friendly dish:

Palak paneer is a diabetic-friendly dish and helps to reduce insulin levels as it is low in carbs and gets digested easily. The fiber content in spinach also helps to reduce blood sugar levels.

Great for your hair:

Who doesn’t like good hair right? Spinach is good for your hair too. It is rich in Vitamin E that helps in repairing damaged skin and keeps your hair healthy and shiny.

Palak paneer recipe, how to make palak paneer

Palak paneer recipe is a paneer delicacy made using palak puree and paneer cubes. This is a very popular north indian and punjabi recipe and often made in those regions.

There are many punjabi recipes on the blog such as rajma masala, rajma chawal, punjabi chole, paneer pulao etc.

This is a very healthy dish as we make use of healthy ingredients like palak and paneer in the recipe. Paneer/cottage cheese is full of proteins and palak is rich in iron and both the veggies are packed with full of nutrition.

It is a very nutritious dish and is in the form of a gravy curry with a creamy touch. I have added cream to enhance the gravy and made it creamy in texture.

Palak is basically combined with veggies such as potatoes to make sabji recipes, but palak is also combined with some of the non veg ingredients such as mutton and chicken and made as palak chicken, palak mutton etc.

Palak paneer is one of the popular paneer recipes apart from paneer butter masala, paneer tikka masala, matar paneer etc.

I have few paneer recipes on the blog and would surely increase them to many more as I keep adding paneer recipes in future.

Paneer is mostly preferred by vegetarians and is also made during several occasions.

Palak paneer is a very simple and easy recipe and it does not require lots of time to make it. It can also be made in various variations here and there but I decided to stick to the traditional method of making palak paneer.

Here, I have not made use of any tomatoes and have just used plain spinach and cottage cheese to make this traditional and popular paneer recipe.

If one is looking for a substitute for proteins other than chicken and eggs then, I suggest paneer to be included in diet as it gives us lots of protein to our body.

Paneer is made out of curdled milk and if paneer is not available in markets then, it can be made in household too.

Home made paneer is the best way to make use of paneer which is fresh and tastes good too. However there are many brands that sell paneer readily and paneer is easily available in supermarkets.

If paneer is available as a large block then, cut the block into cubes as per desired size that is small or large.

Palak is widely available in India and it is a healthy green leafy vegetable with full of iron which is a must for our body.

This combined gravy of palak paneer recipe is green in color and it is best when served with chapati, phulka or paratha.

Spinach can be combined with other veggies too aloo which I have already shared on the blog that is aloo palak, spinach can be used plain too like palak ki sabji, in the form of pakoda like palak pakoda, in the form of dal such as palak dal etc.

Indian Paneer with Palak

A client asked if I could please post an Indian recipe, so I decided to do my own take on my all-time favourite Indian Paneer with Palak


  • 1 cup of basmati rice
  • 375 grams of paneer, cut into cubes
  • 1-2 tbsp canola oil
  • Spinach, 16 oz fresh or 1 large a 1 small container of raw spinach
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • small onion, diced
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • salt to taste
  • cilantro (optional topping)
  • ¼ cup water to add to spinach in blender


1. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Place raw spinach into boiling water to blanch for about two to three minutes. Strain the bright green spinach from the water and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.

2. Press spinach in the strainer to remove excess liquid. Separate spinach into two bowls, one for adding to the curry and the other half to put in a blender. Add ½ cup of water to the spinach in the blender. This spinach puree will later be added to the curry.

3. Cook basmati rice according to package instructions. Set aside.

4. In a large fry pan, heat canola oil on medium- high heat. Add cubes of paneer to the oil and toss to coat. Allow the paneer to cook on each side so that a light brown colouring appears. Cook paneer for about 8-10 minutes. Remove paneer from the fry pan and place on paper towel-lined plate.

5. In your large fry pan, heat canola oil over medium heat and add onion and spices: cumin, turmeric and garam masala. Toss onions to coat in the spices and cook until lightly softened, about two or three minutes. You may also add a pinch of salt with the spices and onions to draw the flavour.

6. Add garlic and ginger to onions. Add more oil if fry pan becomes too dry.

7. Toss in your diced tomatoes and allow to cook for about five minutes.

8. Add half the amount of cooked spinach to the curry along with the pureed spinach from the blender.

9. Allow curry to simmer on medium-high heat for about 15 minutes. Stir sauce to prevent sticking and add ¼ cup of water if your sauce is too thick for your liking.

10. Add the cooked paneer to the curry sauce and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

11. Serve palak paneer on top of basmati rice with fresh cilantro as a garnish.