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

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palak paneer recipe with step by step photos – this delicious palak paneer recipe is my mom’s version of making this dish. she has been making this recipe for years now. it has become a favorite with all of us.

i also make a restaurant style palak paneer recipe, which has the smoking or dhungar method incorporated in it. i use dhungar method in recipes like dal makhani, dal tadka etc where i want to add smoky charcoal aroma to the dish.

in this palak paneer recipe i have shown the method of blanching spinach. this is done so that the dish has a nice green color and it is a healthy practice as well.

i always recommend to blanch spinach before making any dish with it. any chef worth his or her salt will blanch spinach before using the leaves in any recipe. blanching spinach was also taught to me in my home science cooking classes many years ago.

blanching spinach has the following benefits:

  • blanching spinach reduces some of the oxalic acid from the leaves.
  • oxalic acid binds with calcium from the leaves, thereby reducing its absorption in the body. due to this binding, calcium oxalate crystals are formed which cause stones in the kidneys, if spinach is consumed raw and in large amounts.
  • blanching also releases some of the calcium which is present in the leaves. thus the body gets to absorb more calcium from the spinach leaves if you blanch them.
  • the only loss of vitamins which happens during blanching are the water soluble vitamins, but the amount is very less as the spinach leaves are not getting boiled. however blanching preserves and locks some other nutrients in the spinach.
  • the blanching technique retains and preserves the green color of the spinach.
  • blanching gets rid of harmful microorganisms, which can cause food contamination and food poisoning.
  • when you use raw spinach puree to make recipes like palak paneer or saag paneer, there is a possibility that the raw smell and bitterness of spinach can remain in the gravy.
  • blanching also gets rids of the pesticides residue if any from the spinach.
  • blanching removes the bitter metallic flavor of spinach and makes it more flavorful and palatable without any after taste.

palak paneer is basically soft paneer (cottage cheese) cubes cooked in a smooth spinach curry. this palak paneer is one of the most popular paneer recipe on the blog.

this delicious palak paneer goes well with rotis, naan, parathas or tandoori rotis and even jeera rice or biryani rice or saffron rice or ghee rice.

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

few more popular paneer recipes that you can try at times are:

palak paneer recipe below:

4.63 from 149 votes
palak paneer recipe | spinach paneer recipe
prep time
30 mins
cook time
10 mins
total time
40 mins
 

palak paneer recipe - one of the most popular indian dishes. soft paneer cubes cooked in a smooth spinach curry.

course: main course
cuisine: north indian
servings: 4
calories: 187 kcal
author: dassana amit
ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)
for the palak puree:
  • 200 to 250 grams fresh spinach (palak) OR about 7 to 9 oz spinach
  • 1 or 2 green chilies - chopped (hari mirch)
  • 1 or 2 small to medium garlic cloves (lahsun) - roughly chopped (optional)
  • ½ inch ginger - roughly chopped
  • 3 cups water for blanching spinach
  • 3 cups water for ice bath
for palak paneer curry:
  • 1 small to medium sized onion - finely chopped OR about ⅓ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 small or medium sized tomato - chopped OR about ⅓ cup finely chopped tomatoes
  • 4 to 5 small to medium garlic cloves (lahsun) - finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch powder) - optional
  • a pinch of asafoetida (hing) - optional
  • ¼ or ½ teaspoon garam masala powder - add more if required
  • 1 small to medium tej patta (indian bay leaf)
  • 200 to 250 grams paneer or tofu OR about 7 to 9 oz paneer (cottage cheese)
  • ⅓ to ½ cup water or add as required
  • 1 or 2 tablespoon cream - low fat 25% to 35% (i used amul cream)
  • 2 tablespoon oil or ghee or unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi leaves (dry fenugreek leaves) - optional. kasuri methi is crushed and added right towards the end. just before adding cream.
  • salt as required
garnish:
  • a few teaspoons of cream or butter for topping the palak paneer (optional)
  • ½ inch ginger - julienned
  • lemon or lime wedges or slices
how to make recipe
making palak puree:
  1. rinse the palak or spinach leaves very well in running water. tender stem are fine. if the stems are stringy, then discard the stems.
  2. boil 3 cups water in a pan or microwave or electric heater. add ¼ tsp salt to the hot water and stir. then add the palak leaves in the hot water. let the palak leaves sit in the water for 1 to 2 minutes.

  3. after 1 to 2 minutes, using a pasta tong, take the leaves. 

  4. immediately add the palak or spinach leaves in a pan or bowl containing ice cold water. this method helps in preserving the green color of the spinach. just add 8 to 10 ice cubes to 3 cups water to get cold water. allow the spinach leaves to be in the cold water for a minute or two.
  5. then drain the ice cold water. add the spinach in a blender or grinder jar with chopped ginger, garlic and green chilies.
  6. make a smooth palak puree. no need to add water while making the puree. keep the spinach puree aside.
making palak paneer recipe:
  1. heat oil or ghee or butter in a pan or kadai. if using butter, melt it a low flame making sure that the butter does not brown.
  2. add the cumin and let them splutter.
  3. then add the tej patta or bay leaf.
  4. add the finely chopped onions. saute till the onions become golden.
  5. then add the finely chopped garlic. saute till the raw aroma of garlic goes away. no need to brown the garlic.
  6. add the chopped tomatoes. stir and saute the tomatoes till they soften.
  7. once the tomatoes are softened and you see fat releasing from the sides of the mixture. then add the turmeric powder, red chili powder and asafoetida/hing.
  8. stir very well.
  9. then add the palak puree and mix well. 

  10. add about ⅓ to ½ cup water or as required. stir again.

  11. simmer for 6 to 7 minutes or more till the palak or spinach is cooked. season with salt. the gravy or sauce will also thicken by now.

  12. stir and add garam masala powder.
  13. stir again and then add the paneer (cottage cheese) cubes.

  14. stir gently and simmer on a low flame till the paneer cubes become soft and succulent. about 1 to 2 minutes.
  15. lastly add cream. stir gently again so that the cream gets incorporated in the palak paneer gravy uniformly. switch off the flame.
  16. 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. also drizzle a few drops of lime or lemon juice on top along with ginger julienne.
recipe notes
  • the paneer or tofu cubes can also be lightly fried and then added to the curry. in this case, you don't need to cook the paneer or tofu in the gravy as when frying they are already cooked.

nutrition info is per serving

Nutrition Facts
palak paneer recipe | spinach paneer recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 187 Calories from Fat 120
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13.3g 20%
Saturated Fat 3.6g 18%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.4g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.9g
Cholesterol 21.3mg 7%
Sodium 873.4mg 36%
Potassium 623.7mg 18%
Total Carbohydrates 10.1g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2.9g 12%
Sugars 3.2g
Protein 9.7g 19%
Vitamin A 48%
Vitamin C 49%
Calcium 16%
Iron 17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


how to make palak paneer recipe:

a) making the spinach or palak puree:

1. rinse the palak or spinach leaves (200 to 250 grams), very well in running water.

2. boil 3 cups water in a pan or microwave or electric heater or in a pan. add  ¼ tsp salt to the hot water and stir. then add the palak leaves in the hot water. let the palak leaves sit in the water for about 1 to 2 mins. if using stove-top then keep the pan down and switch off the flame.

3. after 1 to 2 minutes, strain the palak leaves.

4. immediately add the palak or spinach leaves in a pan or bowl containing ice cold water. this method helps in preserving the green color of the spinach. just add 8 to 10 ice cubes to 3 cups water to get cold water. allow the spinach leaves to be in the cold water for a minute or two.

5. then drain the ice cold water. add the spinach in a blender or grinder jar with ½ inch chopped ginger, (1 or 2 small to medium) garlic cloves and 1 or 2 green chilies. you can also use a hand held immersion blender to make the puree.


6. make a smooth palak puree. no need to add water while making the puree. keep the spinach puree aside.

making palak paneer recipe:

7. heat 2 tbsp oil (or ghee or butter) in a pan or kadai. here i have used butter. if using butter, melt it a low flame making sure that the butter does not brown.

8. add ½ tsp cumin and let them splutter.

9. then add one tej patta/bay leaf (small to medium sized) .

10. add ⅓ cup finely chopped onions (1 small to medium sized onion).

11. saute till the onions become golden.

12. then add the finely chopped garlic/lahsun (4 to 5 small to medium sized). saute till the raw aroma of garlic goes away. no need to brown the garlic.

13. add ⅓ cup chopped tomatoes (1 small or medium sized tomato).

14. stir and saute the tomatoes till they soften.

15. once the tomatoes are softened and you see fat releasing from the sides of the mixture. then add ¼ tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp red chili powder and a pinch of asafoetida/hing.

16. stir very well.

17. then add the palak puree.

18. stir well.

19. add about to ⅓ to ½ cup of water or as required. stir again.

20. simmer palak paneer gravy for 6-7 minutes or more till the palak or spinach is cooked. season with salt. the gravy or sauce will also thicken by now.

21. stir and add (¼ to ½ tsp) garam masala powder.

22. stir again and then add the paneer cubes (200 to 250 grams cottage cheese). i have added the paneer cubes directly to the gravy. but you can also lightly fry or saute the paneer cubes till they lightly browned and then add them to the palak gravy. in this case, you don’t need to cook the paneer further.

23. stir gently and simmer on a low flame till the paneer cubes become soft and succulent. about 1 to 2 minutes.

24. lastly add cream (1 or 2 tbsp cream, low fat 25% to 35%. i used amul cream). you can also add 1 tsp kasuri methi (crushed) at this step. kasuri methi is optional though.

25. stir gently again so that the cream gets incorporated in the palak paneer gravy uniformly. switch off the flame.

26. stir and serve the palak paneer hot with some rotis or naan or paratha or jeera rice or ghee rice. you can top the palak paneer with some butter or cream also while serving. also drizzle a few drops of lime or lemon juice on top along with ginger julienne.




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This post was last modified on May 28, 2018, 2:21 pm

    Categories Curry RecipesDinner RecipesFestival RecipesKids RecipesNorth Indian RecipesPaneer RecipesPopular Indian RecipesTiffin Recipes

View Comments (502)

    • you can use coconut milk. but with coconut milk, there will be a taste of it. and since i use coconut milk in many dishes, it will taste good with palak paneer too.

  • Thank you for sharing the recipe with detailed steps and photographs. It is very good. I didnot use tomatoes because tomatoes and palak combination leads to kidney stones. Still the recipe came out well.

    • wasn't aware about this information thank you lakshmi for sharing your views on palak paneer recipe and you are welcome.

  • Am a silent follower of your blog.but today I tried this palak paneer receipe which turned out really well.Am glad that my husband loved it.And I would love try all your receipes from now.Again thanks a lot.

    • very pleased to know this thank you for your positive views :) surely try more recipes and do share your feedback, you are welcome.

  • Hi, I was reading your blog regularly and today I tried ur palak paneer and it came out delicious. Whole family loved it! It was very easy especially with photos & videos. Thank you dear. Keep blogging.

  • Hi, I tried a couple of your recipes and all of them turned out well especially the palak paneer. Its very easy to make and tastes really good.

  • I'm not Indian, but my husband is. I'm using yours recipies to cook for him. Everything always come out delicious just because of yours simple explanations and pics. Thanks for the great job!!!!

  • Hi.. i am an ardent follower of your blogs..the recipes are just perfect..i tried out the Palak Paneer recipe today..tastes amazing..however it was a little bitter..i blanched it well and pureed it as mentioned..but still a little bitter..is there a way to correct that?

    • thanks narmada. bitterness in palak paneer is when small leaves or baby spinach is used. if you use the large spinach leaves, then there won't be any hints of bitterness. you can add a few tablespoons of cream to balance the bitter taste.

  • Hi mam,
    I love all your recipes n I specially palak paneer I was just yummy everyone loved it got compliments all thanks to yu?

    • thanks syeda for the feedback on palak paneer. also thanks for sharing your experience. nice to know that you got compliments.

  • Wish you very very happy Diwali mam... May God bless u and your loved ones always..Keep your good work up

  • Hi Dear,

    Happy Diwali to you and your family. I wanted to tell you something that due to your amazing recepies I love cooking, you are amazing.

    • wish you and your family a happy diwali sharda. thats nice to know that the recipes have inspired you to cook. thanks a lot.

  • thanq soo much for the recipe..I have stone pbm so I need to avoid palak and tomato mixing together in recipe...can I avoid tomato in palak paneer

  • Hi Dassana
    Your every recipe comes out Wow Its Yummy n Delicious.Ur doing faboulous job.Thanks for ur just hard work.You have made my life lovely by spreading smiles on each of my family members.Thanks a lot.

  • I tried many Palak paneer recepies but this was the best...my whole family loved it..thank u so much

  • Thanks a lot for wonderful recipes.. your all recipes turn out great. Palak paneer was superb and all my family members loved it. Thanks again Dassana..

  • I often cook this dish but today I learned that I was missing some spices and will try in your way. Let's try cooking it in style.
    Thank you.

  • Dear Dassana, your blog has been my go to blog for north indian recipes... I don't know whether this question has been asked before, and I don't want to scroll through 4 years worth of comments. I am in Africa and here also there is a green spinach which is easily available. it is not palak per se. but can I substitute this local spinach instead of palak to make this Gravy?

    • Thanks Jyoti. I won't be knowing the local spinach. You can try. I think it should work. Just adjust the ingredients accordingly.

  • Hi Dassana,

    I tried this recipe and it turned out awesome. It was finished faster than i thought with rotis.

    Thanks

  • Hello Dassana ,
    I love the way you write and show the recipes . It helps me learn and correct myself . I made your palak paneer recipe just the way you wrote .. It tasted yummy . I never have to go to a restaurant to have palak paneer . Thank you for sharing it . Dassana can you please share recipes of some vegetarian malwani dishes , especially those that can be made with the ready malwani masala .
    Thanks again for your blog and you .

  • Hi..I have recently shifted to USA..Dallas..though I could find almost all Indian grocery I couldn't get amul cream..how can I replace it..as now my palak paneer is not having that restaurant type flavour..plz guide!

  • Hey..I have tried Palak paneer recepie itz not only quick and simple but very delicious..I have tried ur some of the other recepies too they are all amazing..keep up the good work!..

    I have one question..I use dairy cream ..instead of amul..I use it because I think it contains less preservatives compared to amul..am I ryt??..n using cream does it affect our health??

    • Thanks Pooja. Any thing has to be used in moderation. too much of cream is not good unless one is able to burn that much fat. our lifestyle have changed so diet should match that.

  • This is the BEST RECIPE ever for palak paneer and my search for finding a fantastic recipe has ended now. Thank you Dassana, you are the BEST!

  • This recipe looks so colourful and delicious and variety of palak recipe.thanks for sharing this

  • Hi Dassana. thanks to you I prepared the yummiest Palak Paneer. Great recipe!! Thanks a lot.

  • Thank u so much for sharing this awesome recipe....It tastes great...My husband and family members loved it..I have become a huge fan of yours..Keep up the good work!!

    • Welcome Ayushi. Glad to know this. Thanks for your kind words and positive feedback.

  • This recipe turned out really good but I had a variation of not adding onions, I think the last time I did that, it turned out little bitter! good work..keep it up... I also added dhana-jeera masala and it tastes really good with that as well :)

    • Welcome Shweta. Thanks for sharing your positive feedback and the tips. Nice to know them.

  • I am norwegian, and have previously only tried tikka masala, tandoori and butter chicken. Since I first tasted this dish at a restaurant this year, I wanted to try to make it myself.
    I followed your recipe and served this to my family today, and they loved it! It was even better than I remembered!!
    Thank you for sharing!

    • Welcome Ingrid. Glad to know that everyone liked the recipe. Do try some more recipes.

  • Will try this recipe tomorrow.thanks alot. Ur step by step with pictures recipe is really helping.thx alot for this hard work for us.

  • Hi Dassana, made this recipe today for the first time. Loved it totally and was a bit sceptical about the spinach being little bitter but it turned out beautifully. Added fresh curd instead of fresh cream.
    Have been married for 3 years and always use your recipes and they are amazingly good each time. Thanks for introducing me to maharashtrian cuisine. Would love to see some innovative salad recipes too.

  • Absolutely yummy! I loved the simplicity of your recipe, the use of very few spices, precise, just perfect! Cant wait for the family to try it this evening, assuming i do not finish it myself before then.

    • Thanks Farzana for this positive and sweet feedback on palak paneer recipe. Glad to read your witty comment.

  • Dear Dassana,

    First of all thank you so much for this awesome recipe. We loved it and it came out very well. I have made this a couple of time (Using tinned palak also).

    On a personal note, I have been following your website for about two years now and never posted a comment as I was too lazy. But I figured I should thank you for being a lifesaver for me as I am a south Indian, married to a Punjabi. All thanks to you, that my husband now thinks I am a great cook hehe.

    • Welcome Priya. Glad to know that recipes are helping you. Thanks for your positive feedback. Its great to know that blog is helping people in learning different recipes and cuisine.

  • Hey,
    I have been following your recipes for years now...and all the dishes I tried they came out so very well everytime...thanks to the picture guide for every step...its a blessing for all such amateur cooks like me who love to cook but has no idea about the exact recipes for every dish...had followed your recipes during my hostel days and now cooking for my family...Thank you for being the saviour... Tried Rajma masala, daal tadka, Palak paneer for the first time recently from your website and am super amazed by the taste...thanks to your precise guidance. Just can't thank you enough.
    Love,
    Tanu

    • Welcome Tanu. Glad to know that you are following the blog for so many years. Thanks for sharing this awesome feedback on recipes. Felt good reading your nice words about the recipes.

  • As always, thanks for sharing your wonderful receipe. . Just one small doubt. If you soak the palak in hot water, will it not loose its nutrition?

    • thanks sandy. some nutrients are lost, but you can use this same water to make the gravy. even i do it.

  • Thank you for the recipe.. I prefer your website first for any recipes... I suggested to my friends too.. I followed ur website for more than 2 years... Thank you

  • This recipe is delicious! The recipe yielded a creamy restaurant style green gravy that was very authentic. I highly recommend it. The flavours were well balanced. Thank you!

  • I follow your website for practically everything I make. It is very useful and detailed. Could you please advise if my dish has become too hot how I can make it less spicy. I haven’t used cream. Could it be due to that and I used 1.5 green chillies while blending.

    • thanks rekha. the spiciness and pungency of green chilies is not felt in the palak gravy without cream. sometimes some green chilies are too hot, so its best to add them in less amounts. some mashed potatoes (about ¼ cup) can reduce the spiciness. some cashew paste or almond paste will also reduce the spiciness. you can even add some full fat milk. hope these suggestions help.

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