Palak Paneer Recipe | YourFoodFantasy.com

Palak Paneer Recipe – Step By Step

Palak paneer (पालक पनीर) is a vegetarian dish which originates from the Punjab region of northern part of India. Soft Paneer cubes simmered in not so spicy spinach gravy make this recipe a dish full of nutrients. This palak paneer recipe is an excellent example of nutrition packed meal, thanks to spinach and paneer. Who says veg food does not have proteins?

Palak Paneer – a healthy vegetarian curry with paneer smeared in the saucy gravy of spinach, giving the best of spinach and paneer goodness. This recipe is easy to follow.

Normally kids don’t eat greens (at least my daughter runs away from veggies), making palak paneer and giving to kids is a good way to feed greens to kids (most kids do love paneer).

Palak paneer, is another paneer dish which tops the charts in north indian cuisine, alongside kadai paneer and shahi paneer.

In an Indian wedding menu, palak paneer will likely be in the menu in 1 of 3 wedding menus (especially if the wedding is in winter season when spinach is widely available in India).

What is palak paneer?

Paneer = Indian Cottage cheese and Palak = Spinach. Palak paneer is a curry made from spinach and paneer as the main ingredients. First blanch the spinach. Then form a puree out of that spinach. Then cook it in spices, and lastly top it with paneer.

Palak Paneer Recipe | Your Food Fantasy
Palak Paneer Recipe | Your Food Fantasy

Saag Paneer vs Palak Paneer

Palak paneer is not same as saag paneer. Outside india, I have seen restaurants using term “saag paneer” and they serve palak paneer.

However, saag means “green leafy vegetables”, which can be mustard leaves, fenugreek/ methi leaves or any other edible leaves, or even a combination of one of more vegetables, including spinach too.

Saag is very generic term, and palak is very specific. Next time you see “saag” in the menu of a restaurant, ask them to specify which green leaves are being used in that saag.

How to make best and easy palak paneer

This palak paneer recipe is something which I have been using for years now and every time has been well received by foodies.

In my recipe of Palak Paneer, I have blanched the spinach and then make a pure of the spinach. I top this spinach puree with ginger, garlic and tomato paste.

After making puree, I cook this in spices, like garam masala, cumin seeds, turmeric, coriander powder and asafoetida.

In the last, add paneer cubes and let it cook for few mins. As you can see its easy to follow recipe of palak paneer.

More than often, I use homemade paneer, the reason is that the homemade paneer is soft and does not have any chemicals. In case, you are using store bought paneer, I will recommend that you leave the paneer in warm to hot water for about 15 mins. This process will make paneer soft.

In this recipe of palak paneer, I have not use any cream, but in case you find spinach bitter, you can balance taste by adding cream in the gravy at the step in the recipe before paneer is added.

Palak Paneer - Paneer Recipe | YourFoodFantasy.com
Palak Paneer – Paneer Recipe | YourFoodFantasy.com

Serving suggestion for Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer goes well with any Indian bread, be it naan, paratha or puri or even steamed or jeera rice.

Benefits of this palak paneer recipe

  • This is great way to get your greens
  • Palak Paneer is gluten-free (when not adding asafoetida)
  • Palak Paneer is extremely tasty and can be a meal during any day of the week.
  • This palak paneer recipe has low calories and carbs, making it a winner.

Method of making Palak Paneer

  • First of all wash the spinach leaves thoroughly in water and drain the water.
  • Boil 4 cups of water in a pan and once it starts boiling, add spinach leaves to it. After 5 minutes take out the leaves and immediately put them in icy cold water. This step is necessary so that spinach leaves retain its green colour. After 2-3 minutes drain the leaves in a colander so that all the water drains out.
  • Transfer these spinach leaves to a blender jar and blend the leaves to make a smooth puree without adding any water. Transfer this puree to a bowl and keep it aside.
  • In the same Jar, add chopped tomatoes, green chillies and ginger. Blend to make a fine paste of it. 
  • Take a Pan / Kadhai and put it on medium heat. Add oil to it and once oil is warm, add asafoetida and cumin seeds to it.
  • When they are brown, add chopped Onion to it and saute till its golden brown in colour. Now add all the spices and saute again for a minute.Add Tomato paste at this stage and roast  till it starts oozing oil.
  • Add spinach puree and add about 1/2 cup of water to it. Simmer the heat and let it boil for 6-8 minutes.
  • Add Paneer cubes and again cook it for 5-6 minutes more. Switch off the flame.
  • Palak Paneer is ready. Transfer this onto a serving bowl and garnish with grated paneer and dried Red chillies.
Gluten Free Palak Paneer Recipe | Your Food Fantasy

Palak Paneer (Paneer in Spinach based gravy)

Meenu Gupta
Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) cooked with spinach and Indian spices to give a creamy and flavourful, mouthwatering curry.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 5 Portions
Calories 106 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 300 grams Spinach
  • 250 grams Paneer / Indian Cottage Cheese Cut into 1.5Inch cubes
  • 1 Onion Medium Size – Finely Chopped
  • 3 Tomatoes Medium Size – Chopped
  • 2 Green chillies
  • 1 Inch Ginger Can use ginger paste, if you do not have fresh ginger
  • 1.5 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 2 Teaspoon Coriander Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
  • 1.5 Teaspoon Salt As per taste
  • 1 Teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Asafoetida
  • 1.5 Teaspoon Oil You can use Ghee too for better taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Paneer / Indian Cottage Cheese Grated – For Garnishing
  • 1 Dried Red Chillies For Garnishing

Instructions
 

  • First of all wash the spinach leaves thoroughly in water and drain the water.
  • Boil 4 cups of water in a pan and once it starts boiling, add spinach leaves to it. After 5 minutes take out the leaves and immediately put them in icy cold water. This step is necessary so that spinach leaves retain its green colour. After 2-3 minutes drain the leaves in a colander so that all the water drains out.
    Draining water from boiled spinach for palak paneer
  • Transfer these spinach leaves to a blender jar and blend the leaves to make a smooth puree without adding any water. Transfer this puree to a bowl and keep it aside.
  • In the same Jar, add chopped tomatoes, green chillies and ginger. Blend to make a fine paste of it. 
  • Take a Pan / Kadhai and put it on medium heat. Add oil to it and once oil is warm, add asafoetida and cumin seeds to it.
    Gravy preparation for Palak Paneer | YourFoodFantasy.com
  • When they are brown, add chopped Onion to it and saute till its golden brown in colour. Now add all the spices and saute again for a minute.Add Tomato paste at this stage and roast  till it starts oozing oil.
    Gravy preparation for Palak Paneer
  • Add spinach puree and add about 1/2 cup of water to it. 
    Making of Palak Paneer | YourFoodFantasy.com
  • Simmer the heat and let it boil for 6-8 minutes.
    Palak Paneer Gravy | YourFoodFantasy.com
  • Add Paneer cubes and again cook it for 5-6 minutes more. Switch off the flame.
    Palak Paneer Recipe | YourFoodFantasy.com by Meenu Gupta
  • Palak Paneer is ready. Transfer this onto a serving bowl and garnish with grated paneer and dried Red chillies. Serve this hot palak paneer with rice or naan.
    Easy Palak Paneer Recipe

Notes

  1. You can substitute Paneer with Tofu for a vegan option.
  2. You can shallow fry the paneer cubes before adding them into the gravy.
  3. Do not blanch spinach leaves for more than 5 minutes otherwise they will loose all their nutritional value.
  4. Some people may find spinach bitter, in such case, add a bit of cream to balance the taste.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Palak Paneer (Paneer in Spinach based gravy)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 106 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 5mg2%
Sodium 1007mg44%
Potassium 625mg18%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 6246IU125%
Vitamin C 32mg39%
Calcium 86mg9%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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