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Palak Paneer Recipe

by Sonia on November 26, 2013

Post image for Palak Paneer Recipe

palak purée


You may have tried this and that recipe for Saag Paneer aka Palak Paneer. Who doesn’t love Palak Paneer? {except who hate palak and paneer both, silly you}. There are lots of variations for this dish. I have tried couple of recipes from here and there and this one I loved the most so far!

Saag or Palak = fresh spinach. Paneer = cottage cheese. Vegan people may use tofu instead.

This green dish is an equal partnership with paneer. You may use frozen spinach too. However, everyone know it tastes better with fresh spinach. You can left the spinach in chopped state or grind into purée, whatever you prefer. I tried both ways and the taste was equally same.

fried paneer | seven spice fried masala paneer cubes

This recipe is from Madhur Jaffrey’s World of the East Vegetarian Cooking. It’s awesome book {beware there is no single picture but beautiful illustrations are provided to give an idea about particular dish} who love to recreate vegetarian and vegan recipes from every corner of world. Madhur Jaffrey is one of my most loved cooking experts and I religiously follow her creations with few changes if needed.

The reason to share this recipe here is its simplicity. The recipe is SO simple to follow yet it offers best taste. If you are crazy for Palak Paneer you should try it once. You will never regret that all I can vow from my experience.

palak paneer 02 | seven spice


Sometimes I use baby spinach or frozen spinach chunks. All version work well. I prefer freshest ones for the best taste.

– If you like the chopped texture of spinach skip the second step. Instead chop it very finely.

– If you’re using frozen paneer make sure you thaw it in refrigerator a day ahead. If you forget to move from freezer zap into microwave for few seconds but be careful. Or paneer will become chewy and rubbery.

– It’s perfectly normal that the frozen paneer cubes ooze out some water-y contents while frying. But, freak not. All water will evaporate soon and you’ll have a nice golden fried paneer cubes in few minutes.

{Print Recipe}

Palak Paneer | Saag Paneer Recipe

inspired from: Madhur Jaffrey’s World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking

enough for 4 if you serves as a side dish


  • 1 small knob ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 fresh/frozen hot green chillies {adjust to your heat tolerance}
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • about 600 grams/1.5 pound fresh spinach, washed, trimmed {see Notes}
  • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • about 150 grams fresh/frozen paneer cubes {using frozen paneer? see Notes} {vegan friends could go with tofu}
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder or cayenne powder
  • salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream/malai {optional}

How to:

1. In electric blender or food processor blend the ginger, garlic and green chillies with ¼ cup water. Blend until it turn into smooth paste. Remove in a medium bowl. Keep it aside.

2. If you like pureed spinach: sprinkle few Tbsp water over spinach leaves cover it and zap into microwave for 2-3 minutes. Let it cool it slightly and make a purée in same blender bowl {that you use for ginger-garlic-green chilies mixture} with ¼ cup water, if needed. If you like the texture state of spinach don’t blend it and go ahead with step 3.

3. Heat the oil in a large, preferably non-stick saute´pan over a medium flame. Fry paneer cubes gently until they are golden brown on all sides. Remove with slotted spoon and place on a plate in a single layer. Immediately sprinkle salt, the garam masala and the cayenne pepper or red chilli powder on paneer. Set aside.

4. In same sauce pan put the ginger-garlic-green chilies paste from the blender carefully. Fry it constantly for 30 seconds or so on medium flame.

5. Now add in the pureed spinach and salt to taste. Also, add ½ tsp sugar to retain the bright green colour. Cook spinach purée around for a minute. Cover the pan, lower the heat, and let it cook with the ginger-garlic-green chilli paste for 10-12 mins.

6. The gravy should be thickened now. Now add in the paneer cubes and cream {if using}. Stir gently to coat every piece of paneer cube. Cover and cook on a lowest heat for 5-7 minutes. Check seasoning and adjust. Remove from the flame.

Serve fresh with plain rice or jeera rice, paratha and spiced buttermilk.

palak paneer 01 | seven spice




  • I made this recipe last night, and it was super delicious! I can’t wait to make it again!

    • 7Spice

      Thanks Kelley for letting me know. I’m glad you liked it :-)

  • SJ

    Hey… Came across your space today and absolutely enjoyed exploring it! I’m Shruti, a food consultant based in Melbourne! Absolute pleasure to have you around :) See ya sometime @ http://www.cookingwithsj.com :)

  • bec

    This looks fantastic! I am a paneer lover so it’s on the list to try! Thanks for sharing. Bec

    • Sonia

      Thanks Bec. Let me know how did it turn out :)

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