Updated: Jun 30
Sarson, palak, methi, bathua are all available fresh and in abundance during the winters. As much as I love all forms of Saag, this recipe of Palak Paneer is a winner.
Served with makke ki roti, thalipeeth or chapati with a large-ish dollop of fresh homemade white butter... super delicious!
I pair palak paneer with jeera rice too!
To make a vegan version of this recipe of Palak Paneer, use fried cauliflower, tofu, seitan, soy nuggets or TVP of choice instead of paneer.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Ingredients to make Palak Paneer
1 bunch of spinach leaves / palak
250 gms paneer (use tofu for a vegan version)
1 tbsp cold pressed mustard oil or ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds / jeera
4-5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
2-3 green chillies, finely chopped (or as per taste)
2 onions, medium size, finely chopped
1 tomato, medium size, finely chopped
1 tsp flour
1 tbsp fresh cream
Salt, to taste
Method of making Palak Paneer
Clean and blanch the spinach leaves in lightly salted water. Add half a teaspoon of turmeric powder / haldi to the water to retain the green colour of the spinach. Rinse and add cold water with ice cubes to cool the spinach leaves quickly – this also helps retain colour. Grind the spinach leaves to a puree.
Cut paneer in to 1 inch cubes.
In a pan, preferably a cast iron kadhai, add cold pressed mustard oil / ghee and lightly fry the paneer pieces and keep aside. You could use the paneer as it is too, the traditional way.
Add cumin seeds, garlic, ginger and green chillies to the kadhai in which the paneer was fried. Once the aromatics release their flavours, add onions and cook till lightly brown. Add tomatoes and continue to cook until the masala is done. The onions and tomatoes should still have a texture, not completely mashed / cooked.
Add the palak / spinach puree and the flour - cook through on low-medium heat till all the flavours come together, about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt as per taste.
Add 1 tsp flour, preferably corn flour (makai ka atta - the one used to make makke ki roti, not corn starch used for thickening soups). In the traditional recipe of palak paneer, flour is added only for binding the palak saag, skip if you like.
Add paneer and mix well with a light hand, cook for a couple of minutes more allowing the paneer to absorb the flavours. Mix in the fresh cream. Taste and adjust seasoning.
If you like, you could add a teaspoon of garam masala at this point – though the recipe doesn’t really need it - simple flavours work for this recipe of palak paneer.
Serve palak paneer with ghee laden phulkas, jowar roti, thalipeeth… or even jeera rice.
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