This Palak Paneer Recipe is a flavorful concoction of Indian spices with spinach and paneer cheese.
Did you know that to make a Vegetarian Palak Paneer is actually quite easy?
I have put together a delicious recipe with useful how-to instructions to make palak paneer from scratch at home. You will succeed even if you have never cooked Indian food before!
You might remember that I had mentioned in the past my troubles and discoveries with Indian food.
The spices, the unfamiliar flavors and curry gravy dishes, such as in this palak paneer recipe, were nothing what I had seen in my many years in Europe.
Yet, over time I fell in love with certain dishes and these days I am regularly cooking and enjoying Indian food at home, which of course pleases my husband.
Another reason, besides the spicy food, why I hadn’t dug into Indian food right away, were the unfamiliar foreign dish names.
You see, I am not the kind of person who goes through each dish asking the waiter what on earth alu gobi or cafreal is. The waiters in India will only shake their heads without much explanation anyway.
Indian Restaurant menu cards are full of dishes in their local names, and they are not always translated to English!
One fine day I was sitting in a beach shack in Goa looking at the wonderful beach and sunset when I decided to be bold.
I ordered a so called Palak Paneer without asking what it was.
It was green and had some white chunks swimming in the gravy. I took a spoon full and tried a bite.
Honestly, I had no clue what I was eating and I really couldn’t make out what the cook had thrown into it. It wasn’t spicy as such, just a bit tickling, and the dish was addictively delicious!
You won’t believe me but I finished it all with a few chapatis. The waiter came and I couldn’t wait anymore and had to ask what wonderful dish I had just eaten.
To my surprise, it was an Indian spinach dish with Indian cottage cheese aka Palak Paneer.
Palak stands for spinach and Paneer for the tasteless simple cottage cheese which soaks up curry flavors like a sponge.
So, I asked the waiter if the kitchen chef was willing to share his recipe. They must have thought I wasn’t serious anyway and passed me their palak paneer recipe written on a small piece of tissue paper.
Eventually, over the years, the palak paneer turned into something like a staple in our life as I tweaked and adjusted the recipe to our liking.
That is because this palak paneer recipe is not only healthy and nutritious but also rich in flavor and filling at the same time.
If you like Indian food or curry dishes like saag paneer or butter chicken, then you will most probably enjoy this Indian spinach recipe as well.
Palak Paneer Recipe
- 8.8 ounces Spinach
- 1 Green Chili fresh
- 1/2 cup Water
- 1 small Onion chopped
- 1-2 Tablespoon Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic chopped
- 1 Teaspoon Cumin Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Coriander Seed Powder
- pinch Cinnamon powder
- 1/2 Tablespoon Garam Masala
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
- 2 Tablespoon Cream
- few drops Green Food Coloring optional
- Salt to taste
- Black Pepper to taste
- 7 ounces Paneer aka Indian Cottage Cheese, *see Notes
- Wash your Spinach leaves well.
- Blanch the Spinach in some boiling water for 30 seconds and then add them to a blender jar with green chili (stem removed, keep the seeds) and water. Blend the whole content well so that no pieces are left, it should be smooth. Keep aside.
- Heat up a pan with the oil and fry your chopped onion translucent for a few minutes stirring frequently. Add the garlic and stir cook for another minute, then throw in the cumin powder, coriander powder, cinnamon powder, garam masala and cayenne powder. Stir fry for another minute.
- Continue to add in the tomato paste and stir fry quickly, then take down the heat
- Pour in the smooth spinach mass and mix everything well.
- Continue to add the liquid cream and at this point, you can even add a few drops of green food coloring (Restaurant style with green coloring). Season with salt and pepper and let it cook for 10 minutes on a medium to slow heat. If you feel the whole mixture is getting too thick after 5 minutes cooking, then add a little bit water.
- At the end add in the bite-size paneer cubes and mix the whole content. Cook for another 3-5 minutes. Once the paneer is in, try to not stir too much anymore. The Paneer may break into little bits (that happens mostly with frozen paneer) and you want the cubes to be whole.
- Serve hot with roti or basmati rice.
- You can use fresh or frozen Paneer.
Dishes like the Palak Paneer Recipe 🥘
Dear Reader, can you remember the first time when you had palak paneer? Where was it?
Please let us know in the comments further below.