Palak Paneer Recipe

Are you looking for a delicious and healthy meal to make for dinner tonight? Look no further than palak paneer, one of the most popular North Indian dishes.

Palak Paneer Recipe

Are you a fan of Indian cuisine? If so, you're in for a treat with this delicious palak paneer recipe! This classic dish features tender spinach leaves, creamy paneer, and a flavorful blend of spices. Not only is it a healthy and nutritious dish, but it's also easy to make and perfect for a cozy night in. Let's dive into the details of this unique and mouth-watering recipe for palak paneer.

This creamy palak paneer is the perfect accompaniment to roti, naan, jeera rice, ghee rice, and even chilled cucumber raita. And for those who are vegan, you can easily substitute paneer with tofu and milk cream with cashew cream or coconut cream. This recipe is easy to make and is great for dinner parties or special occasions. So why not try this simple recipe and share your thoughts with us in the comments!

What Is Palak Paneer Recipe?

Palak Paneer is a classic Indian dish that combines tender spinach leaves with creamy paneer (Indian cottage cheese) in a flavorful and aromatic gravy. This dish is a perfect example of the unique combination of succulent main ingredients with Indian spices and a special seasoning blend. The result is a comforting and wholesome dish that is loved by many for its rich and creamy texture, paired with the earthy flavors of spinach and paneer.

Why You'll Love Palak Paneer Recipe?

  • Creamy Texture: The palak paneer recipe offers a creamy and smooth texture, making it a delightful dish to enjoy with rotis or naan.
  • Rich in Iron and Protein: Spinach is a key ingredient in palak paneer, and it is loaded with iron and paneer adds a good amount of protein, making this dish a great choice for a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Low in Calories: This dish is low in calories, making it a great option for those looking to maintain or lose weight while still enjoying a flavorful meal.
  • Packed with Nutrients: Spinach is a powerhouse of various nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and K, as well as magnesium and folate, making it beneficial for overall health.
  • Versatile and Customizable: You can easily customize the spices and level of creaminess in this dish to suit your taste preferences, making it a versatile and adaptable recipe.
  • Authentic Indian Flavors: If you love authentic Indian cuisine, you'll appreciate the traditional flavors and aromatic spices that are prominent in this palak paneer recipe.

Ingredients for Palak Paneer Recipe

  • Spinach (Palak): Tender spinach leaves are the star ingredient of palak paneer, providing a rich and vibrant green color to the dish while also offering a unique earthy flavor.
  • Green Chilies: Adding a subtle heat and kick of spice to the dish, green chilies enhance the overall flavor profile of the palak paneer.
  • Paneer: The creamy and mild paneer cubes are the perfect addition to the spinach, creating a delightful and satisfying texture contrast in the dish.
  • Olive Oil or Cooking Oil or Butter: The oil or butter serves as the cooking medium for the dish, adding richness and depth of flavor to the palak paneer.
  • Spices (Cumin Seeds, Cloves, Cinnamon Stick, Cardamoms, Bayleaf): The aromatic spices elevate the dish with their warm and earthy flavors, creating a well-rounded and balanced taste.
  • Garlic, Onion, Tomato, Ginger and Garlic Paste: These ingredients form the flavorful base of the dish, providing depth, richness, and a savory umami flavor to the palak paneer.

How To Make Palak Paneer Recipe?

If you're a fan of Indian cuisine, then you're likely familiar with the creamy, flavorful dish known as palak paneer. This spinach and paneer cheese dish is a popular choice for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, and it's not hard to see why. The combination of tender spinach, aromatic spices, and rich paneer cheese makes for a delicious and satisfying meal.

To make palak paneer at home, follow these simple steps:

  • Prepare the Spinach: Pluck only the tender spinach leaves and discard the stems to avoid any bitter taste. Rinse the leaves well and chop them roughly. Saute the spinach with green chilies until the raw smell has gone away. Then, blend the mixture to a smooth paste.
  • Fry the Paneer: Stir-fry the paneer cubes in a pan until golden brown. Then, remove them from the pan and immerse them in hot water to keep them soft and moist.
  • Prepare the Sauce: In another pan, fry cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamoms, and bay leaf until they splutter. Add garlic, onions, ginger-garlic paste, and tomatoes, and sauté until they form a fragrant, flavorful mixture. Add garam masala, fenugreek leaves, and salt, and cook until the mixture thickens.
  • Combine and Simmer: Lower the heat and add the pureed spinach to the mixture, cooking until it begins to bubble. Add the paneer cubes and let them simmer for a minute. Finally, add fresh cream and garnish with ginger julienne.

These key steps are essential for creating a flavorful palak paneer dish. From preparing the spinach to cooking the sauce to combining the ingredients, each step contributes to the overall taste and texture of the final dish. By following these instructions, you can create a delicious, restaurant-quality palak paneer right in your own kitchen. Enjoy!

Serving Suggestions

  • Goes well with Roti or Naan: Palak paneer pairs perfectly with Indian breads like roti or naan. The soft and creamy texture of the dish complements the chewy and fluffy texture of these breads.
  • Steamed Basmati Rice: The creamy palak paneer also goes well with steamed basmati rice. The fluffy, fragrant rice provides a neutral base that allows the flavors of the dish to shine through.
  • Mixed Vegetable Raita: Serve palak paneer with a side of mixed vegetable raita for a refreshing and cooling contrast to the rich and creamy flavors of the dish. The combination of crunchy vegetables and cool yogurt complements the spiciness of the palak paneer.

Here are a few tips to help you make the perfect palak paneer:

  • Preparing the Spinach Puree: You can either stir fry the chopped spinach with green chilies for 1-2 minutes or blanch the spinach and make a smooth paste. Both methods are common ways to prepare the spinach puree for this dish.
  • Adding Spice: To add some extra heat to your palak paneer, you can add 1/2 tsp of red chili powder and 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder. I like to add chopped garlic to this recipe because I think spinach and garlic go really well together, but if you're not a fan of garlic, feel free to skip this step.
  • Sweetening the Dish: Spinach can have a slightly bitter taste, so I like to add cream to my palak paneer. If you prefer a sweeter dish, you can also add 1/2 tsp of sugar, which is optional.
  • Avoid Overcooking: Be cautious not to overcook the palak paneer, as this can result in the spinach losing its vibrant green color and turning dull.
  • Serving Suggestion: Palak paneer pairs perfectly with rotis and makes for a satisfying and wholesome meal.

Variations for Palak Paneer Recipe

  • Different Greens: Instead of spinach, you can experiment with other greens like kale or collard greens to create a unique flavor and texture for your palak paneer.
  • Tofu instead of Paneer: For a healthier alternative, you can substitute paneer with tofu to make the dish vegan-friendly without compromising on the delicious taste.
  • Cream Alternatives: Instead of using fresh cream, you can try coconut cream or cashew cream for a dairy-free version of palak paneer.
  • Spices: Feel free to play around with the spice level by adjusting the green chilies or adding a pinch of chili powder for an extra kick.
  • Nutty Twist: Add a handful of nuts like cashews or almonds to the spinach puree for a creamy and nutty variation of the classic palak paneer.
  • Grilled Paneer: Instead of frying the paneer, you can grill or bake the paneer cubes for a healthier and slightly smoky flavor in your palak paneer.

How to Store Palak Paneer Recipe

  • Storing Spinach: After buying spinach, remove the stems and store the leaves in an airtight container lined with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Keep it in the refrigerator and use within a few days for the best flavor.
  • Keeping Paneer Fresh: To keep paneer fresh, store it in a container filled with water and keep it in the refrigerator. Change the water every day to maintain freshness.
  • Preserving Spices and Herbs: Store spices like cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and cardamoms in airtight containers away from heat and sunlight to preserve their flavor and aroma.
  • Maintaining Aromatics: Onions, garlic, and tomatoes can be stored in a cool, dark place. Keep them in a mesh or perforated bag to allow for air circulation and prevent them from sprouting or going bad quickly.
  • Proper Storage of Dairy Products: Always store dairy products like fresh cream in the refrigerator, and make sure to use them before the expiration date for the best quality and taste.
  • Ginger Julienne Garnish: Keep the ginger slices in a bowl of water and store them in the refrigerator. This will keep them fresh and crisp until you're ready to use them as a garnish for your palak paneer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use frozen spinach instead of fresh?

  • Yes, you can use frozen spinach instead of fresh. Just make sure to thaw and drain the spinach before using it in the recipe. You may also need to adjust the cooking time slightly.

Can I substitute paneer with tofu for a vegan version?

  • Yes, you can substitute paneer with tofu for a vegan version of the palak paneer. Just make sure to use extra firm tofu and sauté it until golden brown before adding it to the spinach gravy.

How can I make it spicier?

  • If you prefer a spicier palak paneer, you can add more green chilies or a pinch of red chili powder to the spinach gravy. Adjust the spice level according to your taste preferences.

Can I make the spinach gravy in advance?

  • Yes, you can make the spinach gravy in advance and store it in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. When ready to serve, simply reheat the gravy and add the paneer cubes before serving.

Can I omit the cream for a lighter version?

  • Yes, you can omit the fresh cream for a lighter version of palak paneer. The dish will still be flavorful and delicious without the cream.

How do I store leftover palak paneer?

  • Store leftover palak paneer in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

Recipe Card

Spinach Cottage Cheese Curry / Palak Paneer 2020-01-04 04:12:58

Palak Paneer Recipe

Serves 3
Prep Time: 00:15
Cook Time: 00:30
Total Time: 00:45

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch (125 grams) Spinach
  • 2 to 3 Green Chilies
  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 200 grams Paneer
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil or any other cooking oil or butter
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 4 Cloves
  • 1 inch Cinnamon Stick
  • 2 to 3 Cardamoms
  • 1 small Bayleaf
  • 4 finely chopped Garlic Cloves
  • 1 medium sized finely chopped Onion
  • 1 large sized finely chopped Tomato
  • 2 tsp Ginger and Garlic Paste
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Crushed Fenugreek Leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Cream
  • Ginger Julienne for garnishing

Instructions

  • Pluck only the tender spinach/palak leaves and discard the stems as they may leave a bitter taste.
  • Rinse them well few times and drain the water completely otherwise it will let out lot of moisture while cooking.
  • Then chop the spinach leaves roughly.
  • Heat a pan over medium heat, add 1 tsp oil. When the oil heats up, add green chilies and chopped spinach, saute well for 1 to 2 minutes or until its raw smell has gone away.
  • Switch off the heat and let it cool for some time and place them in a blender or mixie jar and grind until a smooth paste and keep it aside.
  • Heat a pan with 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat.
  • When the oil heats, add paneer cubes and stir fry for 2 mins or until they become golden brown then remove them from the heat and immerse them in a cup of hot water and keep it aside.
  • Meanwhile heat a pan with 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat.
  • When the oil heats, add cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamoms and bayleaf, fry until spluttering.
  • Then add chopped garlic and fry until browned.
  • Now add finely chopped onions and a pinch of salt and fry until golden brown.
  • Then add ginger and garlic paste and fry until a nice aroma comes.
  • Then add chopped tomatoes, stir fry until they are mashed up.
  • Also, add garam masala powder, fenugreek leaves and salt, saute until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
  • Then add 1/2 cup of water and cook until the mixture thickens.
  • Now turn the heat to low, add the pureed spinach and mix well and cook until it begins to bubble for about 2 to 3 mins. Don't over cook.
  • Add the paneer cubes and just let it simmer for 1 minute.
  • Finally add the fresh cream and mix well. Garnish with ginger julienne. Switch off the heat and serve hot with rotis.

By Santhi Therese
The Indian Claypot

You may also like my other Indian Curries posts and recipes like Vendakkai Mor Kuzhambu / Okra Yogurt Gravy, Kadai Paneer Recipe, Mutton Peas Curry, Kadai Paneer Masala, Karela Curry / Bitter Gourd Curry, Mochai Kuzhambu Recipe / Fresh Field Beans Curry, Omelette Curry, Indian Fish Curry, Liver Recipe, Ginger Garlic Paste Recipe, Mutton Chukka Recipe, Paneer Jalfrezi Recipe, Chole Bhature / Chola Poori, Nandu Masala / Crab Masala, Chettinad Egg Curry, Matar Paneer Masala, Indian Mutton Curry Recipe, Paneer Butter Masala, Soya Chunks Paneer Korma, Indian Chicken Curry with Potatoes .


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Other Recipes


Vendakkai Mor Kuzhambu / Okra Yogurt Gravy
Kadai Paneer Recipe
Mutton Peas Curry
Kadai Paneer Masala
Karela Curry / Bitter Gourd Curry
Mochai Kuzhambu Recipe / Fresh Field Beans Curry
Omelette Curry
Indian Fish Curry
Liver Recipe
Ginger Garlic Paste Recipe
Mutton Chukka Recipe
Paneer Jalfrezi Recipe
Chole Bhature / Chola Poori
Nandu Masala / Crab Masala
Chettinad Egg Curry
Matar Paneer Masala
Indian Mutton Curry Recipe
Paneer Butter Masala
Soya Chunks Paneer Korma
Indian Chicken Curry with Potatoes

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