Palak Paneer

    1 hour

    This is mild vegetarian Indian dish using palak (spinach) and paneer (an Indian cheese similar to cottage or ricotta) that I have always enjoyed. I haven't been able to nail it quite as well as a good Indian restaurant does but it makes for a pretty good staple vegetarian meal at home and is great for leftovers. The flavour also varies depending on the type of paneer you use and whether the spinach is in season.


    Queensland, Australia
    4 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 700g fresh spinach (silverbeet) - usually 2-3 bunches using only the leaf and not the stalk
    • 3 medium onions
    • 3 tablespoons minced garlic (or 6 fresh cloves diced)
    • 2 tablespoons ground cumin seeds
    • 2 tablespoons garam masala (indian spice)
    • 1 teaspoon ground tumeric
    • 3 tablespoons crushed/grated ginger
    • 3 fresh green chillis
    • 500g chopped tomatoes (fresh or from a can)
    • 1/2 cup sour cream OR natural/greek yoghurt
    • 400g paneer cheese
    • good quality cooking oil

    Preparation:20min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Ready in:1hour 

    1. Finely chop spinach and rinse well and drain only lightly.
    2. Chop onions and sautee in oil in large pot (I use a stock pot that you would use for soup - you need a large pan for when you add the spinach later) over medium heat until clear but not browned.
    3. Add garlic, cumin, garam masala, tumeric, ginger, and chillis to the onions and sautee for 2-3 minutes, or until aromatic (add another dash of oil if the pot is getting dry, and turn down the heat if anything is burning).
    4. Add chopped spinach and toss through onions and spices, then put the lid on the pot and steam until spinach softens and wilts (you may need to add a little water here, 1/2 cup or so, to effectively steam).
    5. Stir through tomato until tomato is heated through.
    6. Remove from heat and blend sauce in a food processor or blender until smooth and thick.
    7. Chop the paneer into 1-2 cm cubes and lightly pan fry the paneer over medium heat until just starting to turn golden (do not overcook the paneer otherwise it will go rubbery).
    8. Return palak sauce to the pot and stir through the sour cream or yoghurt untill combined well.
    9. Stir through the paneer and continue to simmer sauce for 5-10 minutes before serving.
    10. Serve with chilli cheese naan bread and basmati rice. ENJOY!


    If the sauce is too thick add water until you reach desired consistency - I like mine thick so I add minimal water during cooking.

    Make it healthier

    You can omit the sour cream or yoghurt and substitute this for water instead (or just use a light variety of the cream/yoghurt)

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    I've made this a couple of times and it turned out great both times - very tasty, and quite easy to make.  -  15 Apr 2011