one pot palak paneer (restaurant style)

one pot palak paneer recipe with step by step photos – a popular spinach based gravy dish, made with spinach puree, spices and paneer. this is one of the best restaurant style palak paneer that you can easily make at home.

this delicious recipe was shared by my dad who had got it from one of his punjabi friend, who owned a popular dhaba in the mumbai suburbs. on occasions, dad would get us palak paneer or paneer butter masala and dal makhani from uncle’s dhaba and we would always relish it as kids. this dhaba is closed now, but the memories remain.

one pot palak paneer

on some days, we are in a mood to have restaurant-style food at home. so when i prepare these recipes, then at times, i also take pics to share the recipes on the blog.

i have already posted a homely version of palak paneer which is different from this recipe. the difference is in the proportion of some ingredients added and the dhungar or charcoal smoking method which really perks the flavor in this one.

there is no tangy or sour element in this recipe. if you want a bit of tang, you can add 1 small to medium tomato after sauteing the ginger-garlic paste. alternatively, you can also add a few drops of lemon juice or amchur powder.

serve hot with tandoori rotis, naan, chapatis or jeera rice or biryani rice. even goes well with steamed rice.

how to make one pot palak paneer

blanching spinach

1. rinse 250 grams (8 to 9 oz) palak (spinach leaves) well and then keep them in a colander, so that the excess water drains off. if the stems are tender, then keep them. but if they are hard or fibrous, then discard them.

palak

2. boil 3 cups water in a pan. you can also boil water in an electric heater and then take it in a pan or bowl.

boiling water in a pan

3. add the spinach leaves in the water.

adding palak leaves in water

4. stir. blanch the spinach leaves in water for 3 minutes.

blanching spinach leaves

5. when the spinach leaves are blanching, in another bowl, take 2 cups some water and add 8 to 10 ice cubes.

adding ice cubes in water

6. after 3 minutes, remove the blanched spinach leaves from the hot water and add them to the cold water. stir gently so that all the leaves are immersed in the cold water. after 1 minute, remove them.

adding palak in water

7. place the spinach leaves in a grinder or blender jar.

palak leaves in a grinder jar

8. grind or blend to a smooth puree. no need to add any water while grinding or blending.

palak puree

9. this step is optional but recommended as lightly golden pan-fried paneer cubes taste good. heat 3 tbsp oil in a well-seasoned pan or non-stick pan. place the paneer cubes.

pan frying paneer in a pot

10. turn over when one side is lightly golden and fry the other side.

pan frying paneer in a pot

11. fry till the paneer cubes are light golden evenly. avoid frying too much or for a longer time, as then the paneer cubes become dense.

pan frying paneer in a pot

12. remove and then drain the fried paneer cubes on kitchen paper towels.

pan fried paneer

13. to soften the paneer more, keep them immediately in water. this is an optional step and you can skip it. allow the paneer to be in the water for 3 to 4 minutes. then lightly squeeze them and keep aside.

paneer soaked in water in a pot

14. now in the same oil, in which we had pan-fried paneer, add the following spices – ½ tsp cumin seeds and 2 small tej patta or 1 medium to large tej patta (indian bay leaf). saute till the cumin splutters.

tej patta in oil in a pot

15. then add ⅓ cup finely chopped onions.

adding onions to the pan

16. stir well.

mix the onions with oil

17. saute the onions till they turn light golden.

sauteing onions

18. then add 1 tsp ginger paste, 1 tsp garlic paste and 1 to 1.5 tsp finely chopped green chilies. you can also use ½ to 1 tsp green chili paste instead of chopped green chilies. ½ tsp red chili powder can also be added instead of green chilies.

added ginger garlic paste

19. stir and saute till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.

saute ginger garlic paste

20. now add the spice powders – a pinch of turmeric powder, ½ tsp black pepper, crushed in a mortar-pestle (optional) and 1 tsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves. crush the kasuri methi and then add.

adding spice powders

21. stir well.

stir the masala base

22. then add the palak puree.

adding palak puree

23. season with salt.

adding salt to spinach gravy

24. then add a pinch of sugar.

sugar for one pot palak paneer

25. stir well.

stir

26. on a low to medium flame, for about 6 to 7 minutes, simmer the gravy till it slightly thickens.

simmer the palak gravy

27. add ¼ cup low-fat cream (or 3 tbsp whipping cream) and ½ tsp garam masala powder.

adding cream for one pot palak paneer

28. stir very well.

mix spinach gravy well

29. the cream should be mixed very well with the palak gravy. then switch off the flame.

mix spinach gravy well

30. add the paneer cubes.

added paneer cubes

31. mix them well with the rest of the gravy. cover the pan.

preparing one pot palak paneer

dhungar method

32. optional step, but i highly recommend it. burn a small piece of natural charcoal on a stovetop with the help of tongs. place a small flame proof rack on the stovetop and on top of the rack, place the charcoal. burn the charcoal till its red hot.

dhungar for one pot palak paneer

33. now place a small bowl or some layers of an onion in the gravy. place the charcoal on top. add ½ tsp oil on the charcoal. you can also keep 1 clove or ½ tsp cumin seeds on the charcoal and then pour the oil. as soon as you pour oil, smoke will emit from the charcoal.

dhungar for one pot palak paneer

34. as soon as the smoke begins to emit, immediately cover the pan tightly with a lid. keep the pan covered for a minute so that the charcoal’s smoky aroma & flavor gets infused with the gravy. for a slight tang you can add ¼ tsp dry mango powder or a few drops of lemon or lime juice and stir before serving.

dhungar for one pot palak paneer

35. serve one pot palak paneer with tandoori rotis, naan or cumin rice or garam masala rice. even goes well with steamed rice. you can top it with some butter or cream or grated paneer while serving. also, you can drizzle a few drops of lime or lemon juice on top along with ginger julienne, before serving.

one pot palak paneer
few more tasty recipes for you!

STEP BY STEP PHOTOS ABOVEmany of my recipes have step by step photos and useful tips to help you make it easily and perfectly.

One Pot Palak Paneer

4.98 from 35 votes
a popular spinach based gravy dish, made with spinach puree, spices and cottage cheese.
palak paneer recipe restaurant style, spinach paneer recipe
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:25 mins
Cook Time:20 mins
Total Time:45 mins
Course:main course
Cuisine:north indian,punjabi
Servings (change the number to scale):3 to 4
(1 CUP = 250 ML)

INGREDIENTS

for spinach puree

  • 250 grams palak or 8 to 9 oz spinach
  • 3 cups hot boiling water for blanching spinach
  • 2 cups water for ice bath

for pan frying paneer

  • 250 grams paneer or 8 to 9 oz cottage cheese
  • 3 tablespoon oil

for gravy

  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 small tej patta or 1 medium to large tej patta (indian bay leaf)
  • 1 medium onion or 60 to 70 grams onions or 1/3 cup tightly packed finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste + 1 teaspoon garlic paste OR 2 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste OR (½ inch ginger + 6 to 7 small to medium garlic - crushed to a paste in mortar-pestle)
  • 1 or 2 green chilies, chopped or 1 to 1.5 teaspoon finely chopped green chilies (add ½ teaspoon red chili powder instead of green chilies)
  • 1 pinch turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper - crushed in a mortar-pestle (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) - for more hints of bitterness you can add overall 2 teaspoon kasuri methi
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • ¼ cup low fat cream or 3 tablespoon whipping cream
  • a pinch of sugar
  • salt as required

INSTRUCTIONS

blanching and making spinach puree

  • rinse the spinach leaves well in water and then keep them in a colander, so that the excess water drains off. if the stems are tender, then keep them. but if they are hard or fibrous, then discard them.
  • boil water in a pan. add the spinach leaves in the water.
  • stir and blanch the spinach leaves in water for 3 minutes.
  • when the palak leaves are blanching, in another bowl, take some water and add 8 to 10 ice cubes in it.
  • after 3 minutes, remove the palak leaves and add them to the cold water.
  • stir gently so that all the palak leaves are immersed in the cold water. after 1 minute, remove them.
  • place the palak leaves in a grinder or blender jar.
  • grind or blend to a smooth palak puree. no need to add any water while grinding or blending.

pan-frying paneer cubes

  • this step is optional. but lightly golden pan-fried paneer cubes taste good in this recipe. heat oil in a well seasoned or non stick pan. place the paneer cubes.
  • turn over when one side is light golden and fry the other side.
  • fry till the paneer cubes are light golden evenly. don't fry too much as then the paneer cubes become dense.
  • remove and then drain them on kitchen paper towels.
  • to soften the paneer more, keep them immediately in water for 3 to 4 minutes. this is an optional step and you can skip it.

making one pot palak paneer

  • now in the same oil, in which we pan fried paneer, add cumin seeds and tej patta. saute till the cumin seeds crackle.
  • then add finely chopped onions. stir well.
  • saute the onions till they turn light golden.
  • then add ginger paste, garlic paste and finely chopped green chilies. you can also use green chili paste instead of chopped green chilies. alternatively instead of green chilies, red chili powder can also be added.
  • stir and saute till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
  • now add the spice powders - a pinch of turmeric powder, ½ tsp black pepper, crushed in a mortar-pestle (optional) and 1 tsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves. crush the kasuri methi and add.
  • stir well. then add the spinach puree.
  • season with salt. then add a pinch of sugar. stir well and on a medium flame, simmer the gravy for 5 to 6 minutes or till it thickens slightly and the spinach is cooked well.
  • add ¼ cup low fat cream or 3 tbsp whipping cream along with ½ tsp garam masala powder. stir very well.
  • the cream should be mixed very well with the palak gravy. then switch off the flame.
  • add the fried paneer cubes. mix them well with the rest of the gravy. cover the pan.

giving dhungar

  • burn a small piece of natural charcoal on a stove top with the help of tongs.
  • place a small flame proof rack on the stove top and on top of the rack, place the charcoal. burn the charcoal till its red hot.
  • now place a small bowl or some layers of onions in the gravy. place the charcoal on top. add ½ tsp oil on the charcoal. you can also keep 1 clove or ½ tsp cumin seeds on the charcoal and then pour the oil. as soon as you pour oil, smoke will emit from the charcoal.
  • immediately cover the pan with a lid. keep the pan closed with the lid for a minute, so that the charcoal flavor gets infused with the gravy. 
  • for a slight tang you can add ¼ tsp dry mango powder or a few drops of lemon or lime juice and stir before serving.
  • serve one pot palak paneer with tandoori rotis, naan, chapatis, paratha or cumin rice or biryani rice.

NUTRITION INFO (approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
One Pot Palak Paneer
Amount Per Serving
Calories 437 Calories from Fat 351
% Daily Value*
Fat 39g60%
Saturated Fat 16g100%
Cholesterol 68mg23%
Sodium 938mg41%
Potassium 494mg14%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 7960IU159%
Vitamin C 26.7mg32%
Calcium 506mg51%
Iron 2.5mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Dassana Amit

Dassana Amitnamaste and welcome to vegrecipesofindia.com which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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138 comments/reviews

  1. Hi Dassana,
    I have tried many of ur recipes n they have been a hit always. Paneer butter masala, Dal Makhani n Palak paneer are everyone’s favourite. Thanks for sharing these recipes with us.

    Thanks,5 stars

  2. Ma’am,
    A nice page about spiritual events is attached with this site, it was opened in facebook. I want to go through that page, can you please add the link again….
    I think that page from Facebook was named as Good Karma…

  3. I have been following your page for along time. Whenever I need a veg India recipe my only goto is ur page.. Amazing recipes and your picture demo are so cool and easy. Thank you ????

  4. I have made this recipe three times now and turned out to be absolute delicious. Just love all your recipes Dassana.5 stars

  5. Hi Dassana,
    I am from Germany and I love Indian food, especially this recipe. Thank you so much for your blog and sharing all those wonderful recipes. Now I can eat homemade one pot palak paneer, it is delicious! Your pictures and videos make it easy and really foolproof to cook a tasty meal.5 stars

  6. Hey Dasanna,

    I urge u to put one more option on your website where by viewers can put their hands thru their screens and eat the dish too.;-). ..the pics are so tempting that it leaves us drooling on this side of screen…We have to wait till we make the dish ourself to taste it.specially the dosa pic and the sev puri one…..tongue out … yummy looking5 stars

  7. Thanks a lot for this recipe!
    As we are vegan, we will substitute the Paneer with Tofu.
    What is your recommendation for an appropriate substitute for the whipping cream/low fat cheese – Cashew paste or Coconut milk? Any other suggestion perhaps?
    And again – Thanks a lot!5 stars

    • welcome ziv. coconut cream or coconut milk works like a charm in many indian recipes where cream is required and blends perfectly well. cashew paste also works well, but the cashew need to be sautéed or cooked and cannot be added toward the end of the recipe. i would suggest coconut milk or coconut cream.

  8. I doubt any one will ever get the same taste as you would with your recipe cause of the garam masala. There are hundreds or even thousands of variations of garam masala in india hence simply mentioning garam masala would never make a complete recipe. Would be nice if you could also tell us how to make the garam masala that you have used for this recipe or what brand of ready made. I truly believe that’s when you will have your exact recipe with same flavour profile out to us readers.

  9. Hi,
    I have 2 questions.
    1. Can you give the measurements of spinach I should use in cups? I am not sure how much cups 250 gms would be.
    2. I only get heavy whipping cream in store, Is it fine to use 3 tbsp of those?

    Thank you. BTW wanted to say I love your website. I developed interest in cooking because of your recipes

    • thanks arvind. thats nice to know. for the palak paneer recipe, 250 grams spinach will yield approx 5 cups of roughly chopped spinach.
      for the heavy whipping cream, you can use 2 to 3 tablespoons.

  10. Tried this recipe today. It was thethe best palak paneer I have ever made. As you said it is the restaurant style recipe. Love this website. Thank you for your detailed recipe with pics. Awesome work.5 stars

  11. I’m from Canada, and LOVE Indian takeout, so I’ve been trying to learn to cook even better Indian food at home. This is a great recipe and super easy to follow. I wasn’t able to use the charcoal method, but it was delicious.

    Do you have a favourite Chana Masala recipe here? That will be my next dish to try.5 stars

  12. Thanks for this​ easy to follow recipe! What are your thoughts on substituting low fat cottage cheese instead of paneer(since paneer is hard to find around my place)5 stars

  13. Hello, just a little query.
    I am not that fond of the cream we get in the market, would it be ok if I use malaai?

  14. Fantastic recipe. I’ve tried to make Palak Paneer before and it was terrible but this recipe was easy to follow and very delicious. I will definitely be cooking this again!5 stars

  15. Hi,dassana
    Palak paneer recepie is awsome liked too much by family n specially hubby.Thank u too much for uploading such recepies.Love u.

  16. This recipe looks so interesting and authentic–I’m excited to try. Question–what type of green chilies do you use? I actually have access to an Indian grocery story close to my house, so I want to make sure I get the right kind. We are making this for a teacher luncheon for the school. Thanks!

  17. Thank you so much for your superb recipe!!
    I have one question; would it be okay to substitute cream with fat-free yogurt or even non-dairy substitute like almond milk, as I’m trying to watch my fat intake??

  18. Thanks for sharing your amazing recipe with pictures as it becomes easier for us to understand..looks yummy..love the charcoal method..will review after preparing5 stars

  19. Thanks for such great description and details and pictures! I was able to make some of the best palak paneer I’ve ever tasted, while using just ingredients I found here in Canada.

  20. This recipe is AMAZING!! I eat a lot of Indian, especially Punjabi food, and this is exactly what I was hoping for, or better! Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe!! I will define be making it again ASAP ?5 stars

  21. Excellent receipe! I prepared it to my family (they are not vegetarians) and they fell in love with it to the extent they ate it all and I didn’t taste it that day?

  22. hello mam today I tried your recipe,othank u so much mam your palak paneer recipe is so easy to cook and help me to complete my sister’s wish. thanks

  23. I tried this recipe today, it was awesome.All your recipes are mouthwatering.Thank you sooo much.God Bless.5 stars

  24. Hello mam
    I tried this recipe today. It turned out so well that everyone in family licking their fingers. I swear my hubby gonna mad over this recipe. He said I never eat so delicious palak paneer in my life. The smoky flavour is the king of this recipe. Thanks a lot I tried so many recipe from ur ur site nd eachone is big hit especially wheat flour chocolate cake.5 stars

    • thats great and thanks for sharing your experience as well as feedback on palak paneer recipe. also thanks for sharing the feedback on other recipes too. agree the smoky flavour makes a lot of difference. thanks again and happy cooking.

  25. Dear Dasana,

    Today I tried this recipe of yours. It turned out very delicious. My children and husband has it for breakfast and also insisted on having it packed for their lunch. The idea of getting smokey tandoor flavor is fabulous. All your recipes are a complete fool proof. Thanks a lot to you. May god always bless you and your family.

  26. hey Dassana… Thank you for such a wonderful recipe… i tired it and everyone at my home liked it a lot..:-)