Palak Paneer, also known as Saag Paneer, is a popular dish from North India. It is usually served with white rice, naan or rotis. You can enter any Indian restaurant, and chances are you will find Palak Paneer on the menu.
Note: This recipe of Palak Paneer is vegetarian. If you want to make this recipe vegan, simply substitute ghee with olive oil and paneer with tofu.
- Ghee (clarified butter). You can find ghee in any South Asian store. While you can use any brand of ghee, the one I use is from the company Swad.
- Paneer (Indian cottage cheese). You can either prepare paneer at home from scratch or buy a frozen pack (diced or whole) from a South Asian store. I used half of Nanak’s Paneer 400 gram pack (whole/undiced). Remember to thaw the frozen paneer first before cooking.
- 1 big bowl of Spinach (Palak) Leaves
- 1 large Tomato (diced)
- 2 Green Chilies. You can always add more green chilies into the Palak Paneer if you want it to be more spicier.
- 2 Garlic Cloves. Some people like to add more garlic cloves into their Palak Paneer.
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1/2 large Onion
- 1 inch Ginger
- 1/2 tbsp Cumin seeds
- 1 tsp Red Chili powder
- 3 tsp Turmeric powder
- 3 tsp Garam Masala powder
- 1 tsp Coriander powder
• If you bought fresh spinach leaves, wash them thoroughly to remove any soil particles.
• Dice the tomato.
• Chop the onion, green chilies, ginger and garlic cloves.
• Thaw the frozen paneer. Cut the paneer into small cubes if it is not pre-diced.
• Blanch the spinach leaves by putting them into boiling hot water. Blanching helps remove the raw smell that you would have in a raw spinach puree.
• When the spinach leaves shrink, transfer them into a bowl of cold water. This helps the leaves to retain their green color.
• Add the spinach leaves, green chilies and garlic cloves into a blender. Blend into a green puree. (Note: The spinach puree should be of a smooth, paste-like consistency, not runny.)
• Add 3 tablespoons of ghee in a kitchen pot and heat on medium flame.
• Add cumin seeds, onions and the bay leaf. Saute till onions become translucent and turn light brown.
• Add the ginger and cook for 1 minute.
• Add the tomatoes and cook until they become soft.
• Add the powders: turmeric, garam masala, coriander, and red chili powder.
• Stir everything together and let it cook for 2 minutes.
• Add the spinach puree and mix well. Add water to achieve desired consistency.
• Add the paneer cubes and stir everything together. Let the whole dish cook for 10 minutes so that the flavors are absorbed into the paneer cubes and spinach puree.
• Add salt to taste. Cook for 2 minutes and switch off flame.
• Your Palak Paneer is now ready to be served! Bon Appetit!