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Palak Paneer | How to make easy delicious Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer is an easy and delicious dish that is made not only during special occasion but as daily meal item. Palak Paneer is quite popular among kids since it gives them an alternate to eat Spinach without loosing on taste.
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Palak Paneer is an easy and delicious dish that is made not only during special occasion but also as a daily meal. Palak Paneer recipe has quite a few variation and people from different parts of the country prepare it in slightly different ways. Spinach, fresh cream and Clarified butter are the key ingredients to make this tasty dish.

Since the dish is creamy in taste it is quite popular among kids. This also gives them an alternate option to eat Spinach without loosing on taste. Mostly kids do not like Spinach due to its slightly bitter taste and parents are often confused on how to get them started with green veggies.

Well if you are one of those troubled parents whose kids don’t prefer to eat Palak (Spinach) then you can try this Palak Paneer recipe at home. We are sure your kids would love this dish!

Palak Paneer | How to make easy delicious Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer is an excellent tasty dish that holds special place in festivals and parties. While the dish is tasty and addictive it is very calorie rich and must be consumed in moderate quantities. Many people choose to go for Palak Paneer instead of Palak vegetable curry because their kids love this dish for its taste. Since this is calorie rich dish we recommend to limit its quantity to avoid weight gains in kids. Though it is a good start to make your kids start loving Spinach as it is healthy and tasty veggie.

Once your kids start liking Spinach flavour you can guide them to start eating other Spinach and Paneer dishes. This would be a win-win for both of you and your kids.

Palak Paneer is a calorie rich food and should be consumed in moderate quantities. Mostly kids prefer Palak Paneer however eating it quite often leads to weight gain.

Spinach is a green vegetable which is high in nitrates along with other vitamins and minerals. You should definitely consider having Spinach in your family diet.

If you are concerned about health but don’t want to give up on this delicious dish then follow along and we will help you with few pointers on how to make it a more healthier option.

Ingredients for Palak Paneer

Apart from Spinach which is the key ingredient for the dish, here are other ingredients that you need to make Palak Paneer. Most of these ingredients should be easily available in nearby grocery or local supermarket. If you are living outside, many of these spices are now-a-days readily available in major supermarkets.

Spices

Almost all the spices listed for the dish are commonly available. If you are living outside India and struggling to get hold of few exception spices like Bay leaves (Tej Patta), Asafoetida (Hing) you may skip these. These spices though give additional flavour but are not absolute must. One of the key spices that you need for this dish is the Garam Masala. Garam Masala is a mixture of many Indian spices in certain proportions. Since it is widely used in many asian dishes this spice is readily available in many superstores outside India.

There are many popular Garam Masala brands available in market but personally we prefer M.D.H spices. This is because these spices give great authentic Indian curry flavour. If you want to go for authentic Indian Palak Paneer taste go for MDH Garam Masala.

We are not an affiliate to M.D.H spices however we recommend them to get the great Indian curry flavour.

Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese)

Paneer is also known as Indian Cottage Cheese as it is an acid-set cheese common in India and neighbouring countries. It is slightly different from other variety of cheese such as Mozzarella and Cheddar cheese which melt quite easily when exposed to heat. Now-a-days many food companies outside India have launched their Paneer brand and it should not be too difficult to find one. However, if you do find it difficult to get you can try following steps to make Paneer at home. It would require a bit of practice to get it right but if you are like Paneer dishes it is worth a try.

At home you can easily prepare it by adding few drops of lemon juice in hot whole milk to separates curd from wheys. Filter the solution through a cheese cloth or muslin cloth and press it tightly to remove excess water. Let it stay there tightly packed for 30 mins or so. Now keep Paneer frozen in cold water for 3 – 4 hours. You can try performing this process in case you are not able to find Paneer in local store. Making perfect Paneer this way will take sometime and experience but it is not very difficult.

Ghee (Clarified Butter)

You can find this ingredient as Clarified butter in most stores. Outside India you can get different brands of Clarified butter. Usually the packaged Clarified butter contains some amount of Vegetable oil to keep it fluent in low temperature. Pure Ghee is more granular and not fluent especially in low temperature. If you can get hold of pure Ghee the flavour and Aroma is just awesome and is best for cooking. In case you are out of luck and do not have Clarified butter, you can use some pure butter instead.

Preparation Steps to make Palak Paneer

To make Palak Paneer, there are few Pre-Preparation steps that you need to follow. Based on our experience, few of these steps are optional and more a matter of personal preference.

To make Palak Paneer, first take Palak leaves in a utensil and thoroughly rinse it in tap water 3 – 4 times. Since Spinach usually comes with impurities like dirt etc it is a good idea to rinse it thoroughly under running water.

Take Fresh Washed Spinach Leaves to make Palak Paneer
Take Fresh Spinach Leaves to make Palak Paneer or wash them thoroughly in running water

Fresh Spinach (Palak) and similar green veggies straight from farm may contain some traces of mud and dirt so it is better to wash them thoroughly.

After cleaning Palak we are ready to perform a process called Blanching. Now this step is totally optional from our end. We will cover as to why later in this article.

How to Blanch Spinach (Palak)

To perform blanching, first take 6 – 7 cups of water in a utensil and add 1/4 tsp Salt to it. Now let the water boil.

Once the water boils, turn off the flame. Now, put washed Palak leaves into the boiled water.

Once the water boils put fresh Spinach leaves in boiling water for blanching
Once the water boils put fresh Spinach leaves in boiling water for blanching

Run it in using spatula for 2 minutes.

Run Spinach in boiling water for few minutes
Run Spinach in boiling water for few minutes

Now, pull out Palak leaves from boiling water and put them in cold water. You can use some ice cubes or simply cold water at this stage.

Let the Palak leaves rest in cold water for a couple of minutes.

Let the Spinach rest in cold water for few minutes to halt the cooking process
Let the Spinach rest in cold water for few minutes to halt the cooking process

The blanching process is usually done to get away with any microbes in green leafy veggies and to basically halt the cooking process. As we said earlier, this is an optional process. Few chefs recommend it but we do not believe it is quite useful to make excellent tasty Palak Paneer. We will learn more about why it is not useful in a later section after going through other Palak Paneer recipe steps.

Other Preparation Steps

Meanwhile, we can get the Onion, garlic and ginger paste ready.

To make the Onion-Garlic-Ginger paste for Palak Paneer, dice onion into 4 large pieces, and put them in a blender.

Make Onion Garlic and Ginger paste to make Palak Paneer
Make Onion Garlic and Ginger paste to make Palak Paneer

Now, blend it with green chillies, Garlic and Ginger.

Onion Garlic and Ginger paste is ready to be used for making Palak Paneer
Onion Garlic and Ginger paste is ready to be used for making Palak Paneer

Once blended take the paste in a bowl for later use.

Now, it is time to make Tomato Puree. If you want you can use ready made tomato puree available in the market however ensure that it does not contain added sugar else it will make dish too sweet.

To make Tomato Puree, dice tomatoes into large pieces and blend it in a blender. This blended puree will be used later to make Palak Paneer.

Make Tomato Puree for Palak Paneer by blending Tomatoes using a blender
Make Tomato Puree for Palak Paneer by blending Tomatoes using a blender

Now, it is time to get the Paneer ready, after all what will Palak Paneer be without it, right? So, dice Paneer into small and medium rectangular pieces. Many people prefer thick pieces of Paneer but we consider medium sized pieces as else Paneer becomes too dry while eating.

Dice Paneer into small and medium pieces to be used later in making Palak Paneer
Dice Paneer into small and medium pieces to be used later in making Palak Paneer

Unless you prefer it this way, go for small or medium sized pieces.

By now Palak leaves would have returned to normal temperature, so put them in blender to make Palak puree.

Take Spinach leaves in a blender jar to make Spinach Puree
Take Spinach leaves in a blender jar to make Spinach Puree

We will use Palak puree, tomato puree and onion-garlic-ginger pastes later in the recipe.

Add little amount of water to make Spinach Puree
Add little amount of water to make Spinach Puree

As a slight variation to this Palak Paneer recipe you can chose not to make Palak puree but instead chop it with a knife into small to medium pieces. Many people prefer this version of Palak Paneer recipe because it gives a bulky texture to the dish rather than being smooth. This version of dish also goes very well when eaten with Chapati, Paratha or Naan.

How to make Palak Paneer

Once we have completed preparation steps we are ready to make Palak Paneer. You now have everything ready and it is time to get to cooking.

So, to make Palak Paneer, first take a frying pan and put it on high flame. Add clarified butter (Ghee) to it.

Once the Ghee becomes warm add, Cumin seeds, Hing, Whole Red chillies and bay leaves to it. Saute them for a minute. These ingredients give extra spicy flavour to Palak Paneer.

Add Cumin Seeds, Hing, Bay Leaves and Whole Red Chillies to Clarified butter
Add Cumin Seeds, Hing, Bay Leaves and Whole Red Chillies to Clarified butter

Now, add onion-garlic paste to it.

Once Cumin seeds turn brown in colour add onion garlic paste to it
Once Cumin seeds turn brown in colour add onion garlic paste to it

Saute it for a couple of minutes until onion paste becomes light brown in colour.

Saute onion garlic paste for sometime
Saute onion garlic paste for sometime
Once onions turn light brown in colour you are now ready to add spices
Once onions turn light brown in colour you are now ready to add spices

Once, we are ready with onions, it is time to add some Indian spices to Palak Paneer. Therefore, add Salt, turmeric, Red chilli powder and Garam Masala to it.

Add Indian spices such as- Turmeric, Garam Masala, Red Chillies powder to onion garlic paste. Add Salt as per taste
Add Indian spices such as- Turmeric, Garam Masala, Red Chillies powder to onion garlic paste. Add Salt as per taste

Run it using a spatula for a minute to cook the spices.

Cook spices properly for better Palak Paneer flavour
Cook spices properly for better Palak Paneer flavour

Be considerate of Salt as usually Spinach dishes require less Salt. Again, go as per your taste. If you prefer keep, Salt low in quantity. Anyways, having less Salt is always good for health.

Add little water in case the paste starts to stick on frying pan. Do not burn the masala else it will spoil the flavour.

Now, it is time to add tomato puree to Palak Paneer masala.

Add tomato puree to cooked spices to make Palak Paneer gravy masala
Add tomato puree to cooked spices to make Palak Paneer gravy masala

Mix tomato puree well and you are ready with Palak Paneer gravy masala.

Mix tomato puree properly with cooked spices to make Palak Paneer gravy masala
Mix tomato puree properly with cooked spices to make Palak Paneer gravy masala

Once, tomato puree is mixed well, add Palak Puree to it.

Add Spinach puree to cooked Palak Paneer gravy masala
Add Spinach puree to cooked Palak Paneer gravy masala

Again, mix Palak puree well with rest of the Palak Paneer masala.

Mix Spinach puree with Palak Paneer gravy masala
Mix Spinach puree with Palak Paneer gravy masala

Add 1/2 cup of water to cook Palak Paneer. You can add a little bit more water in case the puree is still thick. Remember, Palak itself looses some water while cooking so you don’t want to end up with a very thin Palak Paneer gravy.

Add little amount of water to make Palak Paneer gravy
Add little amount of water to make Palak Paneer gravy

In case you do end up with a thin Palak Paneer gravy, just run it on medium flame for 10 mins or so and you should be able to get rid of excess water.

Cover the frying pan with a lid so that Palak gravy splutters don’t mess your kitchen counter and gas stove.

Let it cook for 5 – 8 minutes but keep running the curry with a gap of minute or two using spatula. This will ensure that the gravy does not stick to the bottom of your frying pan.

As the Palak Paneer gravy will cook you can see the overall texture of the gravy will start changing a bit from darker to a more greener colour.

Now, it is time to add some fresh double cream to Palak Paneer gravy. Double cream will make the gravy sweeter hence be considerate about it based on your personal preference.

Add fresh double cream to Palak Paneer gravy and mix it well
Add fresh double cream to Palak Paneer gravy and mix it well

Run it for a minute or two so it mixes well. The white milky texture should totally disappear and the overall gravy will become a little bit lighter green.

Your Palak Paneer gravy is now almost ready so it is good time to add diced Paneer pieces to Palak Paneer gravy.

Add diced pieces of Paneer to Palak Paneer gravy and mix it well
Add diced pieces of Paneer to Palak Paneer gravy and mix it well

Mix the Paneer well in Palak Paneer gravy.

Now, cover the frying pan with a lid and let it cook for another 2 – 3 minutes. This will ensure that the Paneer mixes well with rest of the gravy.

Mix paneer well, cover lid of frying pan and let it cook for couple of minutes
Mix paneer well, cover lid of frying pan and let it cook for couple of minutes

Turn down the flame as Palak Paneer is now ready. Let it be now settle down a bit before you can plan to serve it.

Turn down the flame and Palak Paneer is ready
Turn down the flame and Palak Paneer is ready

You are now ready to serve the dish. In our opinion, if you leave Palak Paneer for sometime and warm it later just before serving it tastes a bit better rather than serving it immediately.

Serving Ideas for Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer is a creamy delicious dish and goes well with many different foods. It is best to serve Palak Paneer hot along with with Steamed Rice or Jira Rice. If you would like to combine it with some Indian bread then Puri, Paratha or Naan are the best options to go for while serving.

If you are serving it to guests you should top up Palak Paneer with a spoonful of fresh cream for better presentation. In case you plan to serve it with Rice, ensure that the gravy is little bit thinner so it mixes well with rice. This will also ensure that the meal doesn’t feel too dry. If you plan to serve it with Paratha, Naan or Puri the gravy should be much thicker. During festivals and as festive meal the best combinations are Plain Puri and Rajgira Puri.

Add a spoonful of fresh double cream on top of Palak Paneer before serving
Add a spoonful of fresh double cream on top of Palak Paneer before serving

Is Blanching required to make Palak Paneer?

Blanching is a process used to keep the texture intact for various foods. It is a common practice in food processing industry to retain texture of food items. Since processed and canned food items should look fresh for longer period of time the process is quite useful. This is because from the day of packaging and until the food reaches its end consumer it could have taken anywhere between few days to a few months.

Boiling leafy veggies such as Spinach results in loss of nutrients as most of the vitamins and minerals are lost during the process. However considering the benefit of fresh looking veggie which sells better in market the process does give some benefit to food companies.

Since while cooking at home your focus will be on health and nutrition hence blanching really does not make much sense. It is better to avoid this step completely since while cooking at home you are planning to consume the dish same day and not over few days or months. Therefore it is better to focus on retaining nutrients as much as possible.

We have seen few chefs put an argument to use blanching for better Palak Paneer appearance but as per our personal experience we did not see any visible difference in the final product. Therefore our personal recommendation is to avoid the blanching step completely.

Users Ask

Which cheese to use for Palak Paneer?

Indian Cottage Cheese which is also known as Paneer is used to make Palak Paneer. Other cheese like Mozzarella and Cheddar cheese often available in supermarkets outside India cannot be used. The reason is that these cheese melt very easily and that is certainly what you don’t want at all.

Is Palak Paneer healthy?

No if you eat it regularly Palak Paneer is not a healthy dish. Palak Paneer is a very calorie rich and creamy food that tastes good but not good for health. Though the dish contains both Paneer which is a rich source of Protein and Spinach which is good source of Vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Iron, Magnesium etc. it is not good for health because of the way it is prepared.

A lot of Clarified butter and fresh cream is added to prepare Palak Paneer which takes away much of the health benefits offered by the key ingredients. Therefore eating Palak Paneer quite often can easily lead to weight gain.

What goes well with Palak Paneer?

Palak Paneer is a creamy delicious dish and goes well with many different foods. It is best to serve Palak Paneer hot along with with Steamed Rice or Jira Rice. If you would like to combine it with some Indian bread then Puri, Paratha or Naan are the best options to go for while serving.

If you plan to serve it with Rice, ensure that the gravy is little bit thinner so it mixes well with rice. This will also ensure that the meal doesn’t feel too dry. If you plan to serve it with Paratha, Naan or Puri the gravy should be much thicker. During festivals and as festive meal the best combinations are Plain Puri and Rajgira Puri.

Is Palak Paneer good for weight loss?

No Palak Paneer is not good for weight loss but it certainly can help with weight gain. Though the dish contains Paneer which is a rich source of Protein and should help with weight loss, the results are quite opposite. The primary reason of weight gain from Palak Paneer is due to the use of good amount of Clarified butter and fresh cream. These ingredients make the dish high in calorie which can easily lead to weight gain.

Therefore, if you are planning to lose weight you should eat Palak Paneer occasionally and that to in moderate quantity. If you love this dish badly and can’t keep yourself away from it we recommend on reducing the amount of Clarified butter and cream used in preparation. Also, eat it less often so you can still enjoy it once in a while while maintaining your commitment to reduce weight.

Is Paneer Vegetarian?

Yes Paneer is Vegetarian but not Vegan as it is made by curdling the milk. It is also called as Indian Cottage Cheese and is a good source of Protein. Protein also helps in weight loss hence if you are vegetarian and planning for weight loss Paneer is a good option for you.

Is Palak Paneer spicy?

Palak Paneer is not spicy as compared to other Indian dishes which are very spicy and hot. It is much more creamy in taste rather than being spicy and hence is quite addictive. Since it is less spicy the dish is very popular in western countries as it suits the taste of local population. This is one of the many reasons why this dish is served in so many hotels and restaurants around the world.

Usually restaurants and hotels around the world (mostly western countries) scale down on spices to suite the taste of local population. Therefore, since Palak Paneer is creamy in taste it does not need to be scaled down in spices to match the taste.

Is Palak Paneer Vegetarian?

Yes Palak Paneer is a vegetarian dish. However, it is not vegan as it contains Paneer which is made from milk. Palak Paneer is a great vegetarian dish and is quite popular in parties and special occasions. The dish is mostly served with Rice, Paratha or Naan.

Chef Recommendations for Palak Paneer

  • Since Palak Paneer gravy is little thick, while cooking it will start spluttering which will mess up your kitchen counter. Therefore, cover the frying pan with a lid to avoid splutters. There will not be any
  • Do not boil Palak too long in preparation step as you may risk loosing all its nutritional benefits.
  • If you are serving Palak Paneer with Rice, then gravy will be a little thinner so you may need to adjust water and spices accordingly.
  • It is a good idea to serve thick Palak Paneer gravy with Chapati, Paratha and Naan.
  • During festivals you can serve Palak Paneer with Plain Puri or Rajgira Puri.
  • You can also add spoonful of butter while cooking and serving. Since, we have already used Ghee which is better than using butter while cooking hence this was not required.

Discover More

And that is not all folks! Shall we take this opportunity to invite you to discover more tasty and yummy recipes in our food wonderland.

Delicious Palak Paneer served with steamed rice

Palak Paneer Recipe

Palak Paneer is an easy and delicious dish that is made not only during special occasion but as daily meal item. Palak Paneer is quite popular among kids since it gives them an alternate to eat Spinach without loosing on taste.
5 from 4 votes
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Course: Currys, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 406kcal
Author: Team Felicity

Ingredients

Main Ingredients for Palak Paneer

  • 350 g Palak leaves Spinach
  • 225 g Paneer Indian Cottage Cheese
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 2 Medium Tomato
  • 10 g Green Chilli
  • 4 Garlic Cloves Lahsun
  • 1 Inch Ginger Adarak
  • 2 Whole Red Chilli
  • 2 Bay Leaves Tej Patta
  • 1/2 tbsp Cumin Seeds
  • Pinch of Hing Asafoetida
  • 2 tsp Salt or As per taste
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Haldi
  • 1.5 tsp Red Chilli Powder Lal Mirch
  • 1.5 tsp Garam Masala
  • 10 tsp Fresh Double Cream
  • 2 tbsp Ghee Clarified Butter

Instructions

Preparation Steps to make Palak Paneer

  • First, Wash Palak leaves thoroughly in tap water 3 – 4 times.
    350 g Palak leaves
  • Take water in a utensil and pour 6 – 7 cups of water into it. Add 1/4 tsp Salt to it and let it boil.
  • Once the water boils, turn off the flame.
  • Now, put washed Palak leaves into the boiled water, run it in using spatula for 2 minutes.
  • Pull out Palak leaves from boiling water and put them in cold water. Let the Palak leaves rest in cold water for a couple of minutes.
  • Meanwhile, dice onion into 4 large pieces, and blend it with green chillies, Garlic and Ginger in a blender. Once blended take them in a bowl for later use.
    1 Medium Onion, 10 g Green Chilli, 4 Garlic Cloves, 1 Inch Ginger
  • Dice tomatoes into large pieces and blend it in a blender to make Tomato puree. These blended puree will be used to make Palak Paneer later.
    2 Medium Tomato
  • Dice Paneer into small and medium rectangular pieces and keep them aside.
    225 g Paneer
  • By now Palak leaves would have returned to normal temperature, so put them in blender to make Palak puree.
  • This Palak puree along with other pastes that you have prepared earlier will be used to make Palak Paneer.

How to make Palak Paneer

  • Once we are done with the pre-preparation steps we are ready to make Palak Paneer.
  • Take a frying pan and put it on high flame.
  • Add clarified butter (Ghee) to it.
    2 tbsp Ghee
  • Now, add Cumin seeds, Asafoetida, Whole Red chillies and bay leaves to it and saute for a minute.
    2 Whole Red Chilli, 1/2 tbsp Cumin Seeds, Pinch of Hing, 2 Bay Leaves
  • Add onion-garlic paste to it and saute for a couple of minutes until they become light brown in colour.
    1 Medium Onion, 10 g Green Chilli, 4 Garlic Cloves, 1 Inch Ginger
  • It is time to add Indian spices – Salt, turmeric, red chilli powder and garam masala to it. Run it using spatula for a minute. Add little water in case the paste starts to stick to the frying pan.
    2 tsp Salt or As per taste, 1/2 tsp Turmeric, 1.5 tsp Red Chilli Powder, 1.5 tsp Garam Masala
  • Now, it is time to add tomato puree to Palak Paneer masala.
    2 Medium Tomato
  • Mix tomato puree well and you are ready with Palak Paneer gravy.
  • Once, tomato puree is mixed well, add Palak Puree to it.
  • Again, mix Palak puree well with masala.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water to cook it well. You can add a little bit more water in case the puree is thick.
  • Cover the frying pan with a lid so that Palak gravy splutters don't mess your kitchen counter and gas stove.
  • Let it cook for 5 – 8 minutes but keep running the curry with a gap of minute or two using spatula.
  • Now it is time to add fresh double cream to Palak Paneer gravy.
    10 tsp Fresh Double Cream
  • Run it for a minute or two so it mixes well.
  • Now add diced Paneer pieces to Palak Paneer gravy and mix it well.
  • Now, cover the frying pan with a lid and let it cook for another 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Turn down the flame as Palak Paneer is now ready.
  • Your Palak Paneer is now ready to be served. Top it with a spoonful of fresh cream before serving.

Notes

Few considerations while cooking and serving Palak Paneer –
  • Since Palak Paneer gravy is little thick, it starts spluttering which will mess up your kitchen counter. Cover the frying pan with a lid to avoid that.
  • Do not boil Palak too long in preparation step as you may risk loosing all its nutritional benefits.
  • If you are serving Palak Paneer with Rice, then gravy will be a little thinner so you may need to adjust water and spices accordingly.
  • It is a good idea to serve thick Palak Paneer gravy with Chapati, Paratha and Naan.
  • You can also add spoonful of butter while cooking and serving. Since, we have already used Ghee which is better than using butter while cooking hence this was not required.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 406kcal (20%) | Carbohydrates: 18g (6%) | Protein: 22g (44%) | Fat: 28g (43%) | Saturated Fat: 13g (81%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 80mg (27%) | Sodium: 1912mg (83%) | Fiber: 3g (13%) | Sugar: 5g (6%)
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