Palak Paneer- Spinach With Indian Cottage Cheese

4.94 from 207 votes

Simple and easy Palak Paneer is a popular Indian dish where Indian cottage cheese is cooked with spinach puree. Delicious and healthy! Great with naan!

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Palak Paneer is one of the most popular paneer dishes.

Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) is cooked with spinach and spices in this creamy and flavorful curry.

It pairs well with naan, paratha or jeera rice.

palak paneer served in a white bowl with a serving spoon

When we were kids, the only way my brothers would eat spinach was if it was cooked with paneer in palak paneer.

It was such a great way to sneak in the greens. They wouldn’t touch spinach otherwise but if there was paneer with it, they would happily gulp down bowls of it.

Palak Paneer is such a staple in north India. It’s one of the most commonly made paneer dishes in Indian homes.

I would say it was made much more frequently in my home than say paneer butter masala or shahi paneer.

Maybe because it was considered healthier than the other creamy versions of paneer. Whatever the reason was, we would always be very happy when mom made it!

What is Palak Paneer

Palak= spinach (in hindi)

Paneer= Indian cottage cheese

So, this curry is made with spinach and Indian cottage cheese.

The spinach is blanched and then pureed. It’s then cooked with spices and simmered on low heat with paneer.

Cream is added to cut down on the bitterness of the spinach leaves and also make it rich.

If you don’t want to add cream, you can also use yogurt or milk in place.

palak paneer served in a bowl with rice

How to Make Palak Paneer

Everyone has their own way of making this dish and honestly, I also make it in a different way every time I cook it.

This particular recipe is very simple and I would call it home style palak paneer recipe.

It uses basic spices and simple ingredients.

For the curry, I first blanch the spinach and then puree it.

Once the spinach is boiled, add it to ice cold water. This helps in retaining the color of the spinach.

The curry is made of the spinach puree, tomato, onion, ginger and garlic. I use lot of garlic because in my opinion spinach and garlic go really well together.

However, if you are not a fan, you may cut down on it or skip it altogether. Also, you can skip the tomatoes if you want.  It will still come out great!

I often use my homemade paneer for this palak paneer recipe. It’s really the best.

However, if you use store bought paneer, just remember to soak it in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes and then use in the recipe.

The store-bought paneer will be really soft then.

A lot of people like pan frying their paneer before adding it to the curry.

I am not a fan since I like simple soft paneer. But if you want, you can pan fry the paneer cubes in 1 to 2 teaspoons oil until they are golden brown and then add to the curry.

Since spinach is little bitter, I also use some cream and sugar to cut the bitterness.

You can also add little sugar, it’s totally optional though.

palak paneer served with basmati rice and sliced onions in a white plate

Vegan Palak Paneer

Can you make this recipe vegan? Yes of course, follow the same steps as it is.

Use tofu (extra-firm please) in place of paneer and coconut cream or milk in place of heavy cream.

You may also add cashew cream in place. The rest of the recipe would be same.

Make Ahead Option

You can make this recipe in advance up to 2 days if you want to.

Keep it refrigerated. And when it’s time to serve, heat it up well.

You may need to add some water or milk to thin out the curry while re-heating.

Palak Paneer Serving Suggestions

I love eating palak paneer with plain paratha or roti.

But it goes well with naan or jeera rice too.

 

Method

1- To a pot of boiling water, add little salt and then spinach leaves to it. Blanch the spinach leaves for 2 to 3 minutes until wilted.

2- Take them out and put them in ice cold water. This helps the leaves in retaining their green color.

3- To a blender, add the blanched spinach along with tomato, 3 cloves of garlic, ginger and green chili.

4- Puree to a smooth paste and set aside.

step by step picture collage of making palak paneer at home

5- Heat a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the oil and then add the remaining 2 cloves of chopped garlic. Sauté for few minutes until it starts changing color.

6- Then add the chopped onions.

7- Cook the onion for 2 to 3 minutes until soft and translucent.

8- Add in the prepared spinach puree and mix. Also add around 1/2 cup water at the point.

Cover the pan and let it cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. The spinach will bubble a lot. Stir at regular intervals to avoid sticking at the bottom.

step by step picture collage of making palak paneer at home

9- Once the spinach is cooked, add the garam masala, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Mix and cook for 1 minute.

You may also add ½ teaspoon of sugar at this point if you like.

10- Then add the heavy cream and mix.

11- Stir in the paneer and mix. Let the curry simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.

12- Switch off the flame, add lemon juice and kasuri methi and mix.

step by step picture collage of making palak paneer at home

Serve palak paneer hot with naan or roti or rice.

palak paneer served in a bowl with rice bowl in the background

If you’ve tried this Palak Paneer Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

This post has been updated from the recipe archives, first published in April 2014.

Palak Paneer

4.94 from 207 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Simple and easy Palak Paneer is a popular Indian dish where Indian cottage cheese is cooked with spinach puree. Delicious and healthy! Great with naan!

Ingredients 

  • 350 grams spinach
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 5 large garlic cloves divided, 3 whole and 2 finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 green chili or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon oil 15 ml, I used avocado oil
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup water or as needed
  • 3/4-1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder or to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream or adjust to taste
  • 225 grams paneer cut into cubes
  • 1/2 tablespoon kasuri methi crushed, dried fenugreek leaves
  • lemon juice to taste
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Instructions 

  • To a pot of boiling water, add little salt and then spinach leaves to it. Blanch the spinach leaves for 2 to 3 minutes until wilted.
  • Take them out and put them in ice cold water. This helps the leaves in retaining their green color.
  • To a blender, add the blanched spinach along with tomato, 3 cloves of garlic, ginger and green chili. Puree to a smooth paste and set aside.
  • Heat a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the oil and then add the remaining 2 cloves of chopped garlic. Sauté for few minutes until it starts changing color.
  • Then add the chopped onions. Cook the onion for 2 to 3 minutes until soft and translucent.
  • Add in the prepared spinach puree and mix. Also add around 1/2 cup water at the point.
    Cover the pan and let it cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. The spinach will bubble a lot. Stir at regular intervals to avoid sticking at the bottom.
  • Once the spinach is cooked, add the garam masala, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Mix and cook for 1 minute.
    You may also add ½ teaspoon of sugar at this point if you like.
  • Then add the heavy cream and mix.
  • Stir in the paneer and mix. Let the curry simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Switch off the flame, add lemon juice and kasuri methi and mix.
  • Serve palak paneer hot with naan or roti or rice.

Notes

  1. If the spinach is bitter, you can use 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. That's totally optional.
  2. If you like, you can pan-fry the paneer cubes (until golden brown) before adding them to the curry.

Nutrition

Calories: 234kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 47mg, Sodium: 109mg, Potassium: 684mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 10770IU, Vitamin C: 34.8mg, Calcium: 399mg, Iron: 3.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
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Hi, I’m Manali!

Bringing you easy, delicious vegetarian & vegan recipes! Eating veggies can be fun, you just need to get creative in the kitchen with the right set of ingredients!


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Recipe Rating




401 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve been enjoying your palak paneer recipe for a few years. Thank you for posting it. My question is re: Garam Masala. Do you make your own? If so, can you share that recipe. If you were to recommend a pre-made version that’s widely available or available via Amazon, what would that be? I’ve tried Priya and Rani brands, but I do not love either. A bit too much cinnamon.
    Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    perfect! thank you so much! i made the vegan version, with nangold instead of spibach, and it is great! the visitors loved it. great indian flavour!

  3. 5 stars
    I loved this recipe!!!! And so did my daughter. Best palak paneer re pie we’ve found and the most authentic tasting, like our favourite Indian restaurant. Thank you!

    1. 5 stars
      This was really good! Palak paneer is one of my favorite things to get when we go out, and now I can have it at home too!

  4. 5 stars
    I made this recipe and it turned out so good! I didn’t have a blender because I’m currently a college student living out of a dorm, but I still had a really great meal. Thank you, Manali!

  5. 5 stars
    Made recipe as is…amazing! Thank you! My toddler didn’t eat it, but that’s his loss lol.

  6. 5 stars
    I love this dish, my sister introduced me to it and I just had to make it, can’t wait to make it for a family gathering.

    1. 5 stars
      This has instantly become our family’s favourite. My 10 year old son makes it himself because it’s so simple and so delicious. Thank you so much for this.

  7. 5 stars
    Amazing, I would like to use this recipe but with soya chicken. Would everything be the same other than paneer?

  8. 5 stars
    This is the best palak paneer recipe I’ve found! It even worked with me using frozen chopped spinach instead of fresh. I just defrosted the spinach and then added to the blender and continued with the rest of the recipe. Probably not quite as good as fresh, but if anyone else is wondering, the flavor is still amazing! Thanks for a great recipe!

  9. 5 stars
    Damn this was absolutely fantastic. My girlfriend and i are in love with recipe. She said; top 3 all-time!

  10. 5 stars
    Made this for my friends and everyone loved it! I skipped the kasuri methi because I didn’t have it on hand and it was still delish.

    1. sure, soak some cashews in hot water for 20 minutes, drain and then grind them using little milk. You can use this cashew cream in place of cream.

    1. it’s totally different thing, please do not use ground fenugreek or fenugreek seeds here in place of kasuri methi, it will change the flavor. KAsuri methi is dried leaves of fresh methi (which is fresh fenugreek leaves). The leaves are dried and then used as kasuri methi. Fenugreek seeds and ground fenugreek spices are different and not interchangeable.

      1. I found the kasuri methi, but the store also had “methi” – it was a fine powder. Is this also something that could be used in place of the kasuri methi in the future?

      2. Hi Dianna, no they are different. Methi=fenugreek which you can find in two forms at Indian grocery stores, methi seeds (whole seeds) and methi powder which is what you must have found. Kasuri methi is made from drying fresh fenugreek leaves (these are different from the spice). They are added for aroma, and you can’t use the spice in place of leaves.

  11. 5 stars
    Very helpful recipe. The only suggestion I have is: put the Paneer squares earlier for them to soak in the gravy. I have been making my palak paneer with a small potato mashed in. Without it this time, and it came out almost perfect.
    hansa

  12. 5 stars
    Just made this and it is sooooooo good! 1000x better than the old recipe I was using! My new favourite comfort food. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. step 9 in recipe card: stir in the paneer and mix. Let the curry simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Switch off the flame, add lemon juice and kasuri methi and mix.

  13. 5 stars
    I use your recipes a lot, thank you. This particular one is the showstopper I must say. Every time I prepare it, the guests just love it. My kids abd husband who never like the old recipe I used to make are converted since I’ve started making it your way 😁
    It also also makes a great gravy for chicken tikka.