Palak Paneer

by on March 2, 2016
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palakBefore we begin…

  • Palak paneer is one of the most popular Indian paneer recipes.
  • Palak paneer is basically soft paneer or cottage cheese or tofu cubes cooked in a smooth spinach curry.
  • This recipe is from
  • This goes very well with naan or pita

Ingredients to feed 4 people

For the Palak Puree
  • 1/2 LB fresh spinach
  • 1 green chilies, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ inch ginger, minced
  • 3 cups water for blanching spinach
  • 3 cups water for ice bath

For the Garnish
  • a few teaspoons of butter for topping the palak paneer
  • ½ inch ginger, julienned
  • lemon or lime wedges or slices
For the Palak Curry
  • 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped, about ⅓ cup
  • 1 medium sized tomato, chopped, about ⅓ cup
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • a pinch of sumac
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 small to medium bay leaf
  • 1/2 LB paneer or tofu or cottage cheese
  • 1/2 C water or add as required
  • 2 tbsp cream, low fat 25% to 35%
  • 2 tbsp oil or ghee or unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp fenugreek
    -added right towards the end
  • salt as required

Step by Step

Making the Spinach Puree
  1. Rinse the palak or spinach leaves very well in running water. Discard the stems.
  2. Boil 3 cups water with 1/4 C salt.
  3. Put spinach leaves into the hot water.
    Close with a lid and let the leaves sit in the water for 2-3 mins.
  4. Strain the leaves.
  5. Immediately plunge the leaves into a bowl containing ice cold water. This helps preserve the green color of the spinach.
  6. After 60 seconds, drain the cold water.
  7. Add the spinach to a blender with chopped ginger, garlic and green chilies.
  8. Blend into a smooth palak puree. No need to add water. Set aside.
Making the Palak Curry
  1. Heat 1 TBL olive oil in a large pan.
  2. Add the cumin and the bay leaf.  Let them splutter.
  3. Add the finely chopped onions. Saute till the onions become golden.
  4. Then add the finely chopped garlic. Saute till the raw aroma of garlic goes away. No need to brown the garlic.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes. Stir and saute the tomatoes till they soften.
  6. Once the tomatoes are softened and you see fat releasing from the sides of the mixture., add the turmeric powder, red chili powder and sumac
  7. Stir very well, then add the palak puree.
  8. Stir well, then add 1/2 cup water
  9. Stir again, then simmer for 6-7 minutes or until the spinach is cooked.
  10. Season with salt.
  11. The gravy or sauce will also thicken by now.
  12. Stir and add garam masala powder.
  13. Stir again and then add the paneer or tofu or cottage cheese cubes.
  14. Stir gently and simmer on a low flame till the cubes become soft and succulent – about 1 to 2 minutes.
  15. Lastly add cream.
  16. Stir gently again so that the cream gets incorporated in the palak paneer gravy uniformly.
  17. Switch off the flame.
  18. Stir and serve the palak paneer hot with some naan or pita.
  19. You can top the palak paneer with some butter or cream also while serving.
  20. Drizzle a few drops of lime or lemon juice on top along with ginger julienne.

Oh, one more thing…

  • The paneer or tofu cubes can be also be lightly fried and then added to the curry.
  • If this case, you don’t need to cook the paneer or tofu in the gravy as when frying they are already cooked.

This is a recipe that has been created by Robert (Grandpa) Andrews.
Look for Grandpa's Cookbook coming soon. © 2016.


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