Palak paneer step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
Palak paneer is a famous Punjabi dish in which paneer (Indian cottage cheese) is cooked in spinach and spices masala base. This dish is our family favourite too. Soft cottage cheese cubes cooked in silky, mildly spicy spinach gravy is a definite winner. It pairs very well with both rice dishes and roti/naan. It is also known as saag paneer.
There are many ways to make this popular dish and here is my take.
Palak: Palak means spinach in Hindi.
Paneer: Paneer is fresh Indian cottage cheese. You can use either store-bought paneer or make fresh paneer at home.
Onion and tomato: They are used to make the base gravy of the dish.
Ginger and garlic: I use lots of garlic in my recipe as it pairs very well with spinach.
Spices: The whole spices I use are bay leaves, black cardamom, cumin seeds, and cloves. The powdered spices I use are garam masala, amchur (dried mango powder), and chilli powder.
Ghee: I prefer to make this dish with ghee; however, you may replace it with cooking oil of your choice.
Kasuri methi: Kasuri methi is dried fenugreek leaves. This is an optional ingredient but I highly recommend not to skip it.
To make this dish, I blanched the spinach and blend it. I then made the base of this dish using spices (both whole and powdered), onion, ginger, garlic, and tomatoes (I add loads of garlic here and love the flavour it brings when combined with spinach). I then simmered spinach puree in it and finally added shallow-fried paneer.
Palak paneer can be served with plain Basmati rice or can be paired with pulao. Here are some dishes you can pair palak paneer with for a completel meal.
Tips for making best palak paneer
Once you shallow-fry the paneer, soak them in warm water. This will help keep them soft.
Transfer the blanched palak to iced water immediately. This will help in retaining the colour of the spinach.
Use lots of garlic to make palak paneer. Garlic and spinach work very well and makes this dish unique and very flavourful.
Do not skip on tomatoes. They not only add flavour to the dish, they are beneficial too. Spinach is rich in iron and combining them with foods rich in vitamin C (like tomatoes) helps absord the iron.
Do not skip Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) even though it is an optional ingredient. It pairs very well with paneer and adds a nutty flavour to the dish.
Click here for more Punjabi recipes.
For a non-vegetarian verision of this dish, try palak chicken.
Click here for more recipes using green leafy vegetables.
Palak paneer recipe video
Step by step instructions
1. Wash and clean the spinach
2. Blanch spinach in boiling water
3. Puree the spinach
4. Heat 1 tsp ghee and lightly fry the paneer cubes. Set aside
5. Add the remaining ghee and add cumin seeds, bay leaves, black cardamom, and cloves
6. Add onions and fry till it is light golden
7. Add ginger, garlic, and green chilli
7. Add amchur, chilli powder, salt, and kasuri methi. Saute for a minute
8. Add tomatoes and cook for few minutes until they become soft
9. Add garam masala. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the spices and tomatoes are cooked
10. Add spinach puree and simmer
11. Mix in the paneer cubes. Simmer for 3-4 minutes