Palak Paneer Recipe

Palak Paneer Recipe

Prep Time – 30 mins
Cook Time – 10 mins
Total Time – 40 mins


For spinach puree

  • 250 grams spinach or 5 to 6 cups roughly chopped spinach
  • 1 to 2 green chilies or 1 Serrano pepper or 1 to 2 Anaheim peppers – chopped
  • 1 to 2 small to medium garlic cloves – roughly chopped (optional)
  • 1 inch ginger – roughly chopped
  • 3 cups water for blanching spinach
  • 3 cups water for ice bath

Other ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon oil or ghee (clarified butter) or butter
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 small to medium tej patta (Indian bay leaf)
  •  cup finely chopped onions or 1 small to medium sized onion
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic or 4 to 5 small to medium garlic cloves
  •  cup finely chopped tomatoes or 1 small to medium sized tomato
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper or paprika
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing) – optional
  • ½ cup water or add as required
  • ¼ or ½ teaspoon Garam Masala – add more if required
  • 200 to 250 grams Paneer or tofu
  • 2 tablespoons low fat cream or 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi leaves (dry fenugreek leaves) – optional. kasuri methi is crushed and added right towards the end. just before adding cream.
  • salt as required

For garnish

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons cream (low fat or heavy cream or cooking cream) or butter for garnish – optional
  • ½ to 1 inch ginger – julienne
  • lemon or lime wedges or slices


Making spinach puree

  • Rinse the palak or spinach leaves very well in running water. Tender stem are fine. If the stems are stringy, then discard the stems.
  • Boil 3 cups water in a pan or microwave or electric heater. Add ¼ teaspoon salt to the hot water and stir. When the water comes to a rolling boil, switch off the flame. Add the spinach leaves in the hot water. Let the palak leaves sit in the water for about 1 minute. 
  • After 1 minute, using a pasta tong, take the leaves. 
  • Immediately add the palak or spinach leaves in a pan or bowl containing ice cold water. This method helps in preserving the green color of the spinach. Just add 8 to 10 ice cubes to 3 cups water to get cold water. Allow the spinach leaves to be in the cold water for a minute.
  • Then drain the ice cold water. Add the spinach in a blender or grinder jar with chopped ginger, garlic and green chilies.
  • Make a smooth palak puree. No need to add water while making the puree. Keep the spinach puree aside.

Sautéing onions and tomatoes

  • Heat oil or ghee or butter in a pan or kadai. If using butter, melt it a low flame making sure that the butter does not brown.
  • Add the cumin and let them splutter.
  • Then add the tej patta or Indian bay leaf.
  • Add the finely chopped onions. Saute till the onions become golden.
  • Then add the finely chopped garlic. Saute till the raw aroma of garlic goes away. No need to brown the garlic.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes. Stir and saute the tomatoes till they soften.
  • Once the tomatoes are softened and you see fat releasing from the sides of the mixture. Then add the turmeric powder, red chili powder and asafoetida/hing.
  • Mix very well.

Making palak paneer

  • Then add the palak puree and mix well. 
  • Add about ½ cup water or as required. Mix again.
  • Simmer for 6 to 7 minutes or more till the palak or spinach is cooked. Season with salt. The gravy or sauce will also thicken by now.
  • Stir and add garam masala powder.
  • Stir again and then add the paneer (Indian cottage cheese) cubes.
  • Mix very well and switch off the heat. Be quick as we don’t want heat the paneer for more 30 seconds to 1 minute. Overcooking paneer will make them chewy and dense.
  • Lastly, add 2 tablespoons of low-fat cream. If using heavy whipping cream, then add 1 tablespoon of it. Stir gently again so that the cream gets incorporated in the gravy uniformly.


  • Pour the palak paneer in serving bowls. While serving you can top it with some butter or cream.
  • You can also drizzle a few drops of lime or lemon juice on top along with ginger julienne on the palak paneer.

Serving Suggestions

  • Stir and serve palak paneer hot with some roti. It also goes very well with Indian breads like tandoori roti, phulka, paratha or naan.
  • Being a versatile dish, it also accompanies rice dishes from the indian cuisine like cumin rice, vegetable pulao, ghee rice, saffron rice and even a simple steamed rice very well. 

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