Palak Paneer is a vegetarian recipe originating from the Indian sub-continent (primarily North India). It consists of Paneer (Indian Non-melting cheese) in a thick paste made from pureed spinach and seasoned with various Indian spices.
While making it at home is relatively easy, making Palak Paneer restaurant-style just requires a few more specific Indian spices. In addition to the written recipe, check out our Palak Paneer recipe video. It is a comprehensive tutorial of how to make Palak Paneer in Hindi with English subtitles.
Palak Paneer Recipe
Palak paneer recipe
- 250 gram Spinach leaves (Palak)
- 200 gram Paneer (Indian ground cheese)
- 1.5 large Onion (Pyaaz)
- 2 medium Tomato (Tamatar)
- 1 inch Ginger (Adrak)
- 5 cloves Garlic (Lehsun)
- 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
- ½ teaspoon Coriander powder (Dhania powder)
- ¼ teaspoon Red Chili powder (Lal Mirch powder)
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder (Haldi powder)
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala powder (Mixed Indian spices)
- Salt as per taste
- Refined Oil
- Place a large saucepan & turn on the gas. Put washed Palak (Spinach leaves) in it, add ¼ cup water, turn the flame to low-medium and cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, the Palak (Spinach leaves) would have softened. At this point turn off the gas & let the Palak (Spinach leaves) cool down
- Once the Palak (Spinach leaves) cool down, put them in a grinder jar, add 1 cup drinking water & grind down to a smooth paste. Keep it aside for later
- Cut Paneer (Indian ground cheese) into cubes or any shape desired, chop Onions, chop Ginger, cut green chilies & dice tomatoes
- Put chopped Onions in a grinder jar, add garlic cloves, chopped Ginger, chopped green chilies & grind down to a smooth paste
- Separately, add the diced Tomatoes to a grinder jar and grind down to a paste
- Place a kadai (wok) & turn on the gas. Add refined oil & let it heat up
- Once the oil heats up, add 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds, add the Onion-Ginger-Garlic-Green Chili paste and stir them in the oil. Cover the kadai (wok) with a lid & let it cook for 8 minutes
- After 8 minutes, the mixture would appear light brown. At this point, add the Tomato paste, add salt as per taste & mix well. Cover the kadai (wok) with a lid & let it cook for 10 minutes
- After 10 minutes, the mixture would appear to have released oil. At this point, add the Palak (Spinach leaves) paste, ½ teaspoon Coriander powder, ¼ teaspoon Red Chili powder, ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder & mix together. Cover the kadai (wok) with a lid & let it cook for 5 minutes
- After 5 minutes, add Garam Masala powder & mix well. After that add the Paneer (Indian ground cheese) cubes & coat them with the mixture. Let it cook for another 5 minutes
- After 5 minutes, Palak Paneer should be ready to serve
Palak Paneer trivia
Palak Paneer is a hot favorite in a North Indian restaurant menu. The homemade versions are best served at homes in the villages of India where Paneer is made at households & Spinach is collected fresh from the fields.
In some restaurants and homes, other green vegetables are also added with Spinach. Typically popular in North India due to its affinity towards vegetarian food, dairy and the fact that cultivating Spinach is relatively more competent than the rest of the country.
It is the second most favorite Paneer recipe in the subcontinent after Shahi Paneer, however, it is considered less fattening and spicier than the former and is relatively less expensive to make as well. There are some distant variations to it like – Saag paneer, which includes Mustard leaves. However, the spongy texture of Palak Paneer along with its spicy taste makes it more popular in the north Indian belt.
In North America, the dish is named “Green paneer” and has its distinctive pockets of popularity in those counties. Best served with Indian flatbreads (Roti / Nan), It is sometimes consumed with Rice as well.