palak paneer recipe, how to make palak paneer recipe | paneer recipes

palak paneer recipe

palak paneer recipe with step by step photos

palak paneer is one of the most popular indian paneer recipe along with paneer butter masala and kadai paneer. palak paneer is basically soft paneer cubes cooked in a smooth spinach curry.

this palak paneer recipe was requested by many readers and was in drafts for a long time. i had kept in the drafts since the final images were not so good. but then i have not made palak paneer since a long time, so thought of publishing the post.

this recipe is my mom’s version of making palak paneer. it has become a favorite with hubbs too, especially since he does not like palak much.

the palak paneer goes well with rotis, naan and even jeera rice or biryani rice.

vegans can substitute paneer with tofu in this palak paneer recipe. i have made and had palak tofu many times and even with tofu, the palak gravy tastes good.

lets start step by step palak paneer recipe:

making the spinach/palak puree:

1. rinse the spinach/palak very well in water.

wash palak or spinach

2. boil water in a pan with some salt. switch off the fire and add the spinach/palak leaves in the hot water. close with a lid and let the spinach leaves sit in the water for 2-3 mins.

boil palak leaves in water

3. drain the blanched spinach leaves.

palak leaves in cold water

4. immediately add the spinach leaves in a pan or bowl containing ice cold water. this method helps in preserving the green color of the spinach.

boiled palak leaves for palak paneer recipe

5. drain and then puree the spinach in a blender or a hand held blender with ginger, garlic and green chilies.

palak puree for palak paneer recipe

making the palak curry:

6. make a smooth palak puree.

palak puree for palak paneer recipe

7. heat oil or ghee in a pan or kadai. fry the cumin first.

fry cumin for making palak paneer recipe

8. then add the tej patta/indian bay leaf and onions.

add bay leaf - making palak paneer recipe

9. saute till the onions get golden. add the garlic and saute till its raw aroma goes away.

saute onions - making palak paneer recipe

10. now add the chopped tomatoes. saute till the tomatoes soften.

add tomatoes - making palak paneer recipe

11. add the turmeric powder, red chili powder and asafoetida/hing. stir and saute for some seconds.

frying tomatoes - preparing palak paneer recipe

12. add the spinach puree. add some water if required.

add the palak puree

13. simmer for 6-7 minutes or more till the spinach is cooked.

preparing palak paneer recipe

14. add salt.

add salt - making palak paneer recipe

15. lastly add garam masala.

making palak paneer recipe

16. stir and add the paneer cubes.

add paneer or cottage cheese cubes

17. cook the spinach/palak gravy till the paneer cubes become soft.

cook palak paneer gravy

18. add cream and stir.

add cream to palak paneer gravy

19. simmer for 30 seconds or a minute. at this stage you can also add some crushed kasuri methi leaves. adding kasuri methi is an optional step.

making palak paneer recipe

20. stir and serve the palak paneer hot with some rotis, naan or jeera rice. you can top the palak paneer with some butter or cream also while serving.

palak paneer

i have made a video with the images, showing the step by step method of making palak paneer recipe. my voice plays in the background. there is also a background noise. i tried hard to eliminate the noise, but its still there. however, i hope you enjoy the video.

palak paneer recipe video:

if you are looking for more gravy based paneer recipes then do check paneer tikka masalashahi paneer, matar paneer, malai kofta, aloo paneer kofta and paneer manchurian.

if you are looking for dry paneer recipes then try quick paneer tikka, dry paneer tikka, chilli paneer, paneer bhurji and paneer tikka pizza.

palak paneer recipe below:

4.7 from 44 reviews
palak paneer recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
palak paneer - one of the most popular indian dishes. soft paneer cubes cooked in a smooth spinach curry.
Author:
Recipe type: main
Cuisine: north indian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
for the palak puree:
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach/palak
  • 1 or 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 garlic, roughly chopped (optional)
  • ½ inch ginger, roughly chopped
for the palak curry:
  • 1 small or medium sized onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small or medium sized tomato, chopped
  • 4-5 garlic/lahsun, finely chopped
  • ½ or ¾ tsp cumin seeds/jeera
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
  • ½ tsp red chili powder (optional)
  • a pinch of asafoetida/hing (optional)
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder (add more if required)
  • 1 bay leaf/tej patta
  • 200 gms paneer or tofu
  • 1 or 2 tbsp cream, low fat 25% to 35% (i used amul cream)
  • 2 tbsp oil or ghee or unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi leaves/dry fenugreek leaves (optional)
  • salt as required
  • water as required
  • a few teaspoons of cream or butter for topping the palak paneer (optional)
Instructions
making the spinach puree:
  1. rinse the spinach very well in water.
  2. boil water in a pan with some salt.
  3. switch off the fire and add the spinach leaves in the hot water.
  4. close with a lid and let the spinach leaves sit in the water for 2-3 mins.
  5. drain and immediately add the leaves in a pan or bowl containing ice cold water.
  6. this method helps in preserving the green color of the spinach.
  7. drain and then puree the spinach in a blender or hand held blender with ginger, garlic and green chilies.
  8. make a smooth puree.
making the palak curry:
  1. heat oil or ghee in a pan or kadai.
  2. fry the cumin first.
  3. then add the bay leaves and onions.
  4. saute till the onions become browned.
  5. now add the garlic and saute till the raw aroma goes away.
  6. add the tomatoes. saute till the tomatoes become soft.
  7. add the turmeric powder, red chili powder and asafoetida.
  8. stir and saute for some seconds.
  9. add the spinach puree. add some water if required.
  10. simmer for 6-7 minutes or more till the spinach is cooked.
  11. lastly add salt and garam masala.
  12. stir and add the paneer cubes.
  13. cook the gravy till the paneer cubes become soft and succulent. about 1 to 2 minutes.
  14. add cream and stir.
  15. simmer for 30 seconds or a minute.
  16. at this stage you can also add some crushed kasuri methi leaves.
  17. stir and serve the palak paneer hot with some rotis, naan or jeera rice.
  18. you can top the palak paneer with some butter or cream also while serving.
Notes
the paneer of tofu cubes can be also be lightly fried and then added to the curry. i this case, you don't need to cook the paneer or tofu in the gravy as when frying they are already cooked.


{ 188 Responses }

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Rate this recipe:  

  1. sonya says

    Thank you for responding to my question. I tried this recipe exactly as is and it turned out wonderfully delicious. I must say better than I have tried in any restaurant in the US. Thank you again for all the awesome recipes.

  2. sonya says

    Hello, Thank you for sharing this recipe. I plan to make this for a Friday evening party the day before. You think this will taste as good as fresh?
    regards

  3. Sunita says

    I love ur website. I use it quite often. The pictures r very helpful. The fact that u hv a virtual and written recipe is excellent. And the dishes I hv cooked has always turned out really well. Thank you

  4. nimitha says

    This was the tastiest palak paneer I ever had. Thanks to your site, I make north Indian curries at home(I’m a malayali but both I and husband loves Punjabi and other north Indian recipes). In fact, if I want to try a recipe I do it without any hesitation if its there in your site.thanks again for this wonderful site, I don’t have to search for a good recipe anywhere else:-)

  5. Neelima says

    Everybody at home liked this recipe very much and nothing was left after dinner. Just that I added a pinch of roasted methi powder to it. Thanks

  6. Sivaram says

    I tried this way many times and also many combinations but I am not happy with the color. The green color vanishes completely. Is there any way to retain the fresh greenish color

  7. Vibha says

    Very nice recipe.but sometime my spinach becomes bitter after blanching n sometime perfectly fine.what could be the reason.plz help me as it spoils the taste of complete dish

    • swissik says

      The only time I ever tasted bitter spinach was as a child and the homegrown spinach leaves were large, thick and somewhat bitter. My mother said that she waited too long before picking it. These days I only use organically grown baby spinach for all spinach recipes. Suggest that you purchase it from farmers’ markets, Costco, or Trader Joe’s, if you have access to any of these.

  8. Vinay Kumar says

    I am appreciating you for some different reason beside your recipe, for whom you have already got 5 star. The way you have explained every step s with supporting pictures is fantastic. Thanks a lot to take so much pain.

  9. tara dewan says

    I have to say I have used many of these recipes from this website and all I can say is Omg it’s like eating restaurant food with out all the preservatives or the price lol….my husband has never been so happy….only I found was with the palak paneer I needed to add a tbs of tomato puree and to us it tasted better…..even my 4 year old has never eaten so much food as compared to now since I have been following these recipes….

  10. Sindhu Jayaram says

    Dear Madame,

    Your recipe found to be easy to follow and the Palak Paneer turned out to be excellent and everyone at home appreciated as it tasted as perfect as from a north Indian kitchen!!!

    Best regards.

  11. priti says

    Hey yesterday my mum made palak paneer according to your recipe and it was yummmmyyyyy n i am now demanding various dishes to her n she is using this website for making them Thankyou

  12. monika says

    Hey dear,basically from india but since an year I’ve been living with my husband in brazil and most of indian items are unavailable here.even the language being different I coundnt find spinach from a long time and finally I found it ‘espenifre’ is its name here.I loved palak paneer but had never known cooking during my college days and when first time I made this recipe it came out to be fantastic.thankyou I have even tried other recipes of yours.they too came out to be good. Bye tc

    • says

      i can understand the difficulty when living abroad. and i know the local names can be so different. thanks for the feedback on palak paneer. i am glad it turned out so good for you, being the first time cooking.

  13. says

    Thanks for the recipe! I fell in love of Palak paneer few weeks ago, and I think about it every day! I will try your recipe soon, and all the recipes in this amazing blog! The pictures are so beautiful!

  14. says

    Well, Thank you for providing all the recipes which include Spinach puree. This helps those of us searching for family, religion, and heritage. Although many of us are from Rus, Taman Peninsula into Uzbek, we found our way to India (somehow) and the memory of this being cooked in the kitchen makes those feeding us a North India region. Thanks! (Now I can research them all).

  15. malathi says

    hi this is malathi I cook south Indian curry.for a change started to cook north Indian curry then I got your recipe paneer butter masala it tasted so yummy.. but as u said oil from pan did not come sides I stirred it for 20 mts but till it did not come out.. another one question alternative for cream can I use cashew paste

    • says

      thanks malathi. yes you can use cashew paste. you can see the oil. if you would have continued to cook further, you would have seen the oil. it also depends on which temperature you are cooking. you can have a look at this step by step paneer makhanwala post, to see the how the masala looks after sauting and how oil is seen at the sides. you can cashew paste as an alternative for cream.

  16. Meena says

    Hi Dassana, Thank u for posting such a great ad popular recipe…..i had a quick question….can i use sour cream instead of normal cream?

  17. Aparna says

    Hello,

    I am planning to make this receip today and want to know whether i can use the paneer got from the mall directly or is there any thing that i should do to cook panner before placing it in the palak gravy.

  18. Sandeep Gonivada says

    Thank you for the recipe. Enjoyed week-end with home made Palak Paneer and hot chapatis. It was so easy to follow…

  19. Lorne Berkovitz says

    Hello Dassana,

    I LOVE your website. My partner is Indian and he loves when I make your recipes. And the Palak paneer (I usually substitute chana) is one of his favourites. But I have a question. I use the asofeteida, but I really have no idea how it affects the flavour of a subji. If you could answer me this, I would be very grateful. And thanks so much for these wonderful and easy to prepare dishes.

    • says

      thanks lorne. asafoetida does give a flavor to the dish. it would be difficult to explain the kind of flavor. in this recipe of palak paneer, it gives a subtle flavor. asafoetida has a pungent garlicky flavor. so usually a pinch is added. in most recipes its added as it helps in digestion. i add asafoetida in all the indian lentils based dishes i make. also asafoetida is used as a substitute for onion and garlic. in most indian recipes which do not use onion and garlic, asafoetida is added as a substitute.

  20. AK SHARMA says

    Read it,cooked it…..served it and ate it too….really awesome….THANKS FOR PALAK PANEER RECIPIE….

  21. OnB says

    Well I tried this with frozen spinach and it came out really slimy. Not at all like I just had in Delhi last week… I think fresh spinach is required if I try this again. Every recipe from this site is better than every book I’ve ever used! Thanks and keep them coming. OnB

  22. Anand says

    Nice recipe. Just a tip for all spinach lovers. The astringent taste of spinach is countered by the sweetness of the onions. If you use a pound of spinach you need a large onion (100 grams) which needs to be cooked till brown. The caramelized onion will be sweet will help in combating the astringent/bitter taste of spinach. The same effect is achieved when you add cream. Cream sweetens the gravy and gives it the thick texture. The sweetness of cream counters the astringent taste of spinach. Secondly the use of tomatoes is limited in palak paneer. Its main purpose is to give it the dish a little acidity which is served by adding a small-medium (~ 65 grams) tomato. Remember spinach has mild flavour and adding strong overpowering spices and flavours will not help bring out the taste of spinach. Lastly blanching spinach is a simple process of adding spinach leaves to boiling water (unsalted is fine as we do not want to increase the temperature of water for spinach). Timing is important. According to me 30 seconds to a minute is more than enough for blanching spinach. After all the gravy also cooks the spinach so under-cooked spinach is not a real risk in this dish.

    • says

      thanks a lot anand. you have mentioned all that i have mentioned here and there in bits in the comments and not in the actual post. i will update the post with your wise tips and suggestions soon :-)

  23. sreerupa sarkar says

    Big thank u for the recipe.. i tried it at home & the result was excellent.. my hubby kept licking his fingers..!

  24. Rachel says

    I don’t have paneer- could I use chickpeas and turn this recipe into Palak Chana or is the recipe too different?

    I am so excited to try it!

    • says

      you can add some milk. you can also add cashew paste or almond paste or finely powdered cashews and almond. cashew or almond paste has to be sauted before you add the spinach puree.

  25. Jenn says

    Awesome recipe! I’ve been wanting to make palak paneer for 3 years, and it has taken 3 years to find the courage because hubby has always said it is so difficult. I used a 1lb container of washed baby spinach and doubled the other ingredients (except the green chili). This was so easy and is restaurant worthy.

  26. sushma brahme says

    Never liked palak paneer but after preparing as per ur instruction loved it, not only d taste was gud but the color of palak was just like restaurants fell in love of palak paneer thnx for d delicious palak paneer

  27. Kay says

    Hi Dassana,
    accidentally landed on your site and tried some of your recipes. they are truly awesome. your palak panner just came out superb. Your clear explanation of ingredients and method are very encouraging.
    Thank you for posting.

    Kay

  28. urmi says

    it was yummyyyyyyyyyyyy! it was very easy to follow with simple ingredients from the pantry.Thanks for a waonderful receipe

  29. smt.Khanolkar says

    I always like to see all these reciepies to learn new things and I enjoy making these reciepies. Thanks to all of them who have contributed to these reciepies.

  30. Tejaswini says

    Hi Dassana,

    I tried this out today for the first time and I must say it came out really good !! :-) It was my first attempt at Palak Paneer and my husband who is not really a big fan of Palak, loved it!

    Thanks a lot for sharing it, it is one of the healthiest recipes!

    Cheers,
    Tejaswini.

  31. lubna says

    Hi dasana I love your recipes and also try your recipes. And the results are reallygood. I want to share an old recipe of my father and that one is not available on your website. But I can’t give you exactly amount of ingredients so please tell me how can I sendyou that recipe so you can try.

    • says

      thanks lubna. you can share the recipe. its alright if you don’t know the proportions. you can mail me at vegrecipesofindia(AT)gmail(DOT).com. please use the @ for (AT) and . for (DOT) in the email. the email is written this way to avoid spam emails.

  32. LAURA PRUITT says

    Great recipe! I love Palak Panee. Girrl Wednesday I went and bought every ingredient you listed. I couldnt go back to sleep 3am sat morn, this morning and made it exact! Delicious! Eating it for breakfast. Thanks4the recipe.

  33. Kashif says

    I recently tried this dish in restaurant in New York for the first time and loved it. Later, I decided to cook at home by using your recipe it turned out to be very delicious, thank you!

  34. Farah says

    Hi dassana

    Tried palak paneer recipe yesterday. It was perfection! My husband loved it and said it tasted better than that served in restaurants

    Thanks a lot. Gonna try your lazuli kofta recipe today

  35. Rumana Khan says

    Loved the recipe. The technique of adding the leaves to a bowl of cold water was fantastic. It did preserved the green colour. Thank you for sharing such a great recipe.

  36. Muneer says

    Wow..yummiest…it was surprisingly delicious palak paneer,my wife prepared as per your website.more tasty than what we get from restaurant .
    Thank you very much…for spreading the tasty ideas.

    • says

      you will have to boil the spinach leaves very well. don’t add the stems. chop the leaves and cook them till they are softened completely. then using a a slightly medium to large holed strainer mash the leaves with a spoon or fork. you can also just mash with your fingers and no need to strain if the puree does not have any fibrous parts. the puree you get you can use that. but its too cumbersome to cook this way.

  37. Aishwarya Rohini says

    Hey Dassana, I’m a college student and I made this palak paneer. What I made doesn’t really taste like the restaurant paneer and I omitted some ingredients that I didn’t have on hand. Could you please tell me what ingredients were essential to make this restaurant style? I omitted using:
    1 bay leaf/tej patta
    1 or 2 tbsp cream
    2 tbsp oil or ghee or unsalted butter
    1 tsp kasuri methi leaves/dry fenugreek leaves (optional)

    I thought that the cream and butter were for consistency more than taste and I didn’t have a bay leaf. I didnt have kasuri methi either and it says optional so I didnt use it. Pls let me know what was an essential ingredient that altered the taste because I’d very much like to make this again. Thank you for sharing!!

    • says

      hi aishwarya,

      1: palak is somewhat bland and has a typical taste. adding bay leaf/tej patta brings some flavor and aroma in the otherwise bland palak puree. so better not to skip it. if tej patta is not there, then add some 2-3 cloves or 1/2 inch cinnamon.
      2: its also important to add cream as it balances the taste of the spinach and brings about a subtle sweetness in the dish. so i would not suggest to skip it either. you can also use malai. just whip it well and then add it to the palak paneer. if you are not adding cream, then 1 tbsp of maize flour (makki ka atta) or gram flour (besan) can be added. this will thicken the gravy as well as bring a light sweetness in the dish.
      3: some fat should be there. otherwise it will taste like a soup made without butter or oil.
      4: kasuri methi is not necessary. just to get the aroma in the dish.

      so next time when you make, don’t skip on the tej patta and cream. you can substitute with the ingredients that i have mentioned. they won’t give you a restaurant like taste, but the palak paneer will be good. also use oil or butter while making the palak paneer.

      • Manaz says

        I can’t wait to try this dish for my guests this weekend. I have never made palak paneer before. I just purchased a block of paneer. Can you please suggest what would compliment the palak best, lightly fried paneer, which does not require extra simmering/cooking or should I just add the paneer as it is and cook it into the curry? I have never used paneer before.
        I don’t have this spice- asafoetida (optional). I will use a cinnamon stick if I do not have Bay leaf available. Will whipping cream work? Can I add 3 TBSP of cream for extra richness? My mom replaces cream with mayonnaise, if she does not have cream available. It adds in that subtle sweetness. Would tomato paste instead of a fresh tomato taste better? I heard that tomato does not compliment palak. As for the butter, can I double the quantity suggested, as I am serving guests who love rich foods.
        Would you think that this quantity is sufficient for around 10 guests, with 8 other main course available.
        Would you happen to have a butter chicken recipe available.

        • says

          - lightly fried paneer tastes good. but at home we prefer to add paneer directly. but use a non stick pan while frying the paneer as otherwise they stick while frying.
          – if using cinnamon stick, then just add a small piece, about 0.5 to 1 inch. you don’t want the aroma of cinnamon to overwhelm the whole paneer dish. you can also add 2 to 3 cloves.
          – you can add 3 tbsp cream. i have never used whipping cream, so am afraid, i don’t how well it will work or not.
          – tomato paste is fine, but reduce the quantity. i always add tomatoes as it gives a slight tang in the dish, which won’t be there if you skip them.
          – you can double the butter.
          – this quantity is sufficient for 3-4 people only with this as the main course. i think it would suffice if there are 8 other main courses. but still you can make a little extra.
          – will email you the butter chicken recipe

  38. Radha Raghuram says

    Dear Dasanna,

    I am not the types who cook too often, but, off lately i have started to, since I have taken a break in my career. My hubby the other day said I am bored of this regular south indian food sambar rice and stuff, so make something in north Indian…(Verbatim).

    So thanks to google the first thing that came to mind was palak paneer, so, that’s it I googled & got Googleed though…Thanks a Ton!….awesome…the video helped me so much, I have my system in the room and I just can’t mobilize my wifi to kitchen I don’t get signal….so this video helped in pausing in each step and then …tada …my palak paneer comes out awesome.

    Thanks once again for this simple yet delicious recipe…looking forward for a lot more of such recipes of course with video please.

    Great writing to to you. Glad that I managed to search this on Google.

    Warm Wishes & Happy cooking!
    Radha Raghuram.

  39. #fm says

    Ur recipe is awesome! I loved it….I’ll make it fr my parents…thnx fr sharing dassana….:)
    Thnx again….luv,fm

  40. a says

    Nice blog your description is so good every layman can understand the cooking recipe.
    we expect more recipies like this. Thank you.

  41. Krithikamohan says

    I’ve tried all the above recipes since my hubby nd my mom(mother-in-law) love paneer. All the dishes were mouth lingering. I won their hearts for cooking such delicious dishes..

  42. Brittney says

    This was amazing and pretty much identical to my favorite restaurant Shalimar. I am so pleased with this recipe, thank you so much!

  43. Nandita says

    Hi Dassana, I am unable to use the ‘reply’ link; nothing happens when i click on it, hence this new post. Thanks for both the suggestions, i will try them out soon for sure! Nandita

  44. Nandita says

    Hi Dassana,

    I have 2 questions;

    When I made this dish, the tomatoes i used were ripe, but firm, so they do not blend and mashed up really well, I finally let the onion-tomato mixture cool a little and put it in the blender. Do you face the same problem or have any suggestions regarding the same?

    Also, I make Paneer at home just before making the curry, and have realised that the Paneer is super soft and nice when the curry (any curry) is warm / hot; however, when the dish cools down the paneer hardens. Is it supposed to happen with paneer? Or is it happening because i over cooking it?

    Thanks so much!

    • says

      hi nandita

      1: i never have any issue with tomatoes when making an onion-tomato based gravy. in india we get tomatoes which blend very well and become mushy and soft when cooking. i suggest you to add a pinch or two of salt when cooking tomatoes. it helps them to cook faster and also softens them. actually it depends upon the water content in the tomatoes. so when sauting, you can sprinkle some water and saute. this will also soften the tomatoes.

      2: with paneer, i have never faced this issue. even after the curry or sabzi cools down, the paneer cubes are still soft. i wonder what is causing this issue with the paneer. a suggestion would be to just cook the paneer for a minute after you add them. then you can see whether they harden when you do this way.

  45. Lauren says

    I’ve been playing around with home made Indian food for a couple years and just recently got serious about it. Your recipes have helped me perfect my techniques and make better food for my fiancé and myself. Most palak paneer recipes would tell you to use frozen spinach. Blanching the spinach is so, so much better. As much as I love my local Indian restaurant, being able to make my own curries at home is wonderful. Thanks for the awesome recipes!

  46. Gazelle says

    Thank you! This recipe turned out beautifully, even though I didn’t have all the spices. It’s definitely the most time consuming recipe I’ve ever used, but I grew up American (ie, I didn’t cook and neither did my family!). Delicious!!! To those of you who have never cooked, don’t be afraid to try this! I’ll definitely be making this at least twice a month.

    • says

      thanks gazelle for writing such a positive feedback. i am sure it will inspire more readers to try this delicious palak paneer recipe.

  47. anuradha says

    Dear Dassanaji,

    I have cooked a whole bunch of dishes following your recipes and videos and they have all been GREAT! Thank you so much. I follow quite a few indian cooking blogs and yours is my favourite! Well, rushing off to make your palak paneer recipe…..again! :D p.s. yes, it also tastes awesome with tofu.
    Love and many thanks from Hamburg, Germany, Anuradha.

  48. Anam says

    You are an inspiration! I hated cooking but with your help, i have started relishing the pure culinary joys… your palak paneer is so simple but delicious!!! tried and tested like so many others! :) thanks!