one pot palak paneer (restaurant style)

Jump to Recipe

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!

Like this Recipe?
Pin it Now to Remember it Later

Pin Recipe Now

palak paneer recipe restaurant style, spinach paneer recipe
One Pot Palak Paneer
4.98 from 39 votes
A popular spinach based gravy dish, made with spinach puree, spices and cottage cheese.
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 45 mins

Cuisine North Indian, Punjabi
Course: Main Course

Servings 3 to 4

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

Calories: 437kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 14gFat: 39gSaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 938mgPotassium: 494mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 7960IUVitamin C: 26.7mgCalcium: 506mgIron: 2.5mg

Like our videos? Then do follow and subscribe to us on youtube to get the latest Recipe Video updates.

Tried this recipe?If you have made the recipe and liked it then do share the recipe link on facebook, twitter & pinterest. For instagram mention @vegrecipesofindia and tag #vegrecipesofindia!

Share This Recipe:

PinPrintShares1.1k
Dassana Amit

Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

Get My Secrets to Great Indian Food
Sign up for my FREE Beginners Guide to Delicious Indian Cooking

More Vegetarian Recipes You'll Love

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. We moderate comments and it takes 24 to 48 hours for the comments to appear. We thank you for your understanding and patience. If you have made the recipe, then you can also give a star rating.

Your Recipe Rating




138 Comments

  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

    1. hi manimegalai, thank you for the review on the recipes you have made. glad to know. most welcome and thanks for the rating too.

See More Comments