Palak Paneer – Spinach with Homemade Cheese

Palak Paneer or Spinach with Homemade Cheese is easily one of the most recognizable and popular Indian dishes. Besides being a staple of Indian restaurants, top Indian chefs such as Sanjeev Kapoor and Tarla Dalal have made it even more popular. Here is our version of this palak paneer recipe. It’s packed with the goodness of spinach and loaded with protein from the paneer, a homemade cheese which doesn’t melt when heated. Try this delicious recipe and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make!

Palak Paneer

Ingredients:

Spinach – 1, 16oz pkt chopped, frozen (about 1/2 kg)
Paneer– 7 oz or 200 g
Oil – 3 tbsp
Onions – 2 med, minced
Ginger – 1″ pc, minced
Garlic – 4 cloves, minced
Water – 1/2 cup
Tomatoes – 2 large or 1, 14oz can diced (pureed)
Garam Masala – 2 tsp
Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
Coriander Powder – 2 tsp
Red Chili Powder – to taste
Salt – to taste
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Heavy Whipping Cream – 8 tbsp or to taste
Milk – to taste (optional)

Method:

  1. Cook frozen Spinach with 1/2 cup Water in a microwave safe dish for 7-8 minutes stirring in between.
  2. Blend cooked Spinach to desired texture (avoid over-blending).
  3. Heat 2 tbsp Oil in a medium non-stick pan on high heat.
  4. Once Oil is hot, add in the minced Onions, stir, cover and let it cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add in the Ginger and Garlic and mix. Cook for another 4-5 minutes.
  6. Add in the Tomates, cover and cook till the oil seperates from the mixture.
  7. Keep stirring frequently as the Masala (Onion, Tomato, Ginger & Garlic mixture) tends to burn very fast.
  8. While the Masala is cooking, cube the paneer to desired size…1/2″ cubes work well.
  9. In a non-stick frying pan, heat the remaining 1 tbsp Oil.
  10. Once Oil is hot, add in the paneer cubes and let them cook till they are golden brown on all sides.
  11. Remove from the pan into a plate with paper towel to soak the excess oil.
  12. In a couple of minutes, pour the Paneer into a bowl of cold water. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  13. Meanwhile, once the Masala is prepared, add in the mashed Spinach.
  14. Mix and add the Garam Masala, Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder, Salt, Chili Powder & Turmeric Powder.
  15. Mix well and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  16. Add in the desired amount of Cream and /or Milk. Mix and cook for another few minutes.
  17. Gently squeeze the water out of the Paneer and put the Paneer in the Spinach.
  18. Mix gently and serve hot.
  19. Serves 4 . Enjoy with Naan, Chapati, Paratha or Rice.

Tips:

  1. Health tip- some great substitutes for Heavy Whipping Cream are Milk, Soymilk, Lactaid, Half and Half or Evaporated Milk.

Watch and learn…

0 thoughts on “Palak Paneer – Spinach with Homemade Cheese

  1. Hi
    Once again a great recipe from you.It was very tasty.
    If I use 1 kg of paneer ,do I need to increase all the ingredients 3 fold.
    kindly reply as I plan to make this for few friends
    Thanks

  2. hi Anuja and Hetal found ur site today its really gud thnx for sharing indian recepies…
    i will make palak paneer on weekend.. can u guys tell me whr can i get paneer from as i live in houston texas i dint find it stores..

  3. Really enjoyed your recipe on this. I’ve made it twice now. The second time was even better then the first. Can leftovers be frozen? ALso, I’ve tried this twice and each time I have problems getting the paneer to brown correctly. I use a stainless steel fry pan. It seems to want to stick to the bottom of the pan. Maybe my stove temp to hot??? Appreciate any help.

    1. Hi Paul,

      Palak paneer definitely freezes well. What I sometimes do is freeze just the palak part of it. Whenever I need to serve it, I add freshly sauteed paneer. It looks better that way. Paneer browns really well in a non-stick pan. Unless you use a good amount of oil, it will stick to stainless steel.

  4. Hi, I tried this today, everything worked out well, however the tomato purred tomatoes made the saak very sour? is there any way to fix that? or what did i do wrong?

    1. Hi Anamika,

      Some times, canned tomatoes are a little more sour than fresh ones. If you don’t prefer the tanginess, try fresh tomatoes next time. Usually, the cream tones down the sour flavor.

  5. This is a lovely recipe! It’s the first time I have made and had palak paneer and I impressed my mom, who’s a total foodie! I have used other indian recipes and they just weren’t good. I look forward to using other recipes from your site!!

  6. Excellent recipe….thank you. Made it for lunch

    I prepared the base of the spinach the night before… and followed the remainder of the recipe of adding the cream and paneer just before serving.

  7. Hi Ladies,

    Can i use table cream instead of heavy whipping cream ?

    Love the great work you do – i am a regular visitor!

    thanks!

  8. Hi Anuja and Hetal

    I made this for a dinner party and it was a super hit!
    Thanks for another amazing recipe – and for making me look talented in the kitchen lol:)

  9. Hello,

    Thanks for the great recipes! I tried this one tonight. I’ve never had it before but wanted to try making it because it’s a friend’s favorite dish. I’d like to make iy for her but have a couple questions. Is the paneer supposed to be soft and creamy? Mine definitely wasn’t. I may have overfried it. It was pretty dense. It didn’t bother me, but I’m wondering how it’s supposed to be. Also, should the palak be thin or chunky? Mine was pretty chunky.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Take care.

    1. Hi Ann Marie,

      Paneer is hard to describe – it is soft but not super soft – kinda like firm Tofu in texture. If you over fried it or if it is store bought it is a little more dense that home made Paneer. Try dropping the fried paneer in hot water and then gently squeezing out the water and then adding the Paneer to the spinach. Also, Paneer is softer when it warm so when serving, heat the dish really well.
      Well, as for the spinach – it is personal preference. We like a lot of texture and don’t like runny gravies – but if the taste is good – either ways is fine. Also keep in mind what you are serving the dish with – with rice we serve runny gravies and with breads/naans/chapatis, the spinach should be more chunky 🙂

      1. Hi anuja and hetal, I tried the recipe today and it turned out quite well but my gravy is too runny. Is there a way i can fix it?

        Thanks

        1. You can increase the heat and try to dry up the extra moisture or you can add a bit of corn starch and try to thicken it up.

    1. Hi Sneha,
      You can substitute it but keep in mind that milk is more runny than cream so add very little. There is definitely a difference in taste but it still tastes good.
      🙂

  10. Hello Hetal and Anuja!

    I really enjoy watching your videos and have learned much from them! I have discovered that using thin coconut milk in place of the heavy cream gives the umami and richness of heavy cream with none of the drawbacks of heavy cream.

    I have also taken to experimenting with Mexican cuisine (I am Hispanic) using the spices and herbs normally associated with Indian cooking – I have to tell you the results are pretty darn good!

    Thank You So Much!

    Christian

  11. Hi Hetal,

    Can you please help me with the choice of food processor that I can use to grind Indian dishes? I have a blender that does not do a good job of grinding whole spices. Being a south indian, I also make some coconut based curries and chutneys which should have a smooth consistency, but ends up coarse. I have watched most of your dishes and your food processor does a pretty good job. I was looking at your online store but there were too many food processors. Can you suggest one in particular that is apt for Indian cooking and grinding?

    Thanks,
    Divya

  12. Thanks for this awesome website. The saag paneer was fantastic. First time I made it and I couldn’t believe how good it was.

    Cheers.

  13. Anuja and Hetal,
    You ladies are amazing! My boyfriend is Indian and thanks to your recipes I can make him dishes that remind him of home. Thanks for making everything so easy to understand and all of your wonderful recipes and tips! I’m trying Palak Paneer tonight 🙂

    1. Hi Ash,

      Thanks for your feedback! We’re so glad you are learning to cook delicious Indian food at home. Good luck with the Palak Paneer!

  14. My husband and I just made this dish now. We are so in love with it and can’t wait to get to a big city to buy more paneer soon. Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Another heavenly recipe that turned out delicious. I couldn’t help adding 1.5 cups of heavy cream..it was sooooo decadent. I will now need to five more hours of cardio and Birkram. Thanks again for another wonderful recipe.

  16. Hello,

    I noticed that this recipe serve’s 4. I am planning to make this for a party and will be serving other vegetable with it (which is not decided yet). But we will also be having sweet (may be gajar halwa) and kadhi, pulao, puri, … with it. In that case, will be it safe to consider the quantity shown in video will serve 8? Would the same go for other vegetables on the site too?

    Thank you in advance for your response.

  17. Hi, I suggest to remove cream and reduce 1 tomato. You will get very good taste. Besides, add cinnamon powder while preparing masala or add a piece of cinnamon 5cm X 1 cm. with onion. Swaad bahut achchhaa milegaa.

  18. Hi, thanks so much for the recipe – i tried it today as a surprise for my parents. the palak paneer turned out delicious! what a difference a few spoons of cream make. also, instead of pan frying the paneer, i used a trick i learned recently: cut a block of paneer, place it in water and microwave for a few minutes. the paneer comes out super soft and even breaks off a bit in the palak (which i love). this trick gets me out of frying the paneer and is delicious and mild.
    thanks again 🙂

  19. Hello! I have just made your punjabi masala in bulk, and was wondering how much of it I use in the palak paneer recipe instead of remaking it fresh again?

    Thank you and I love your website!

  20. hi hetal and Anuja,

    I am from dubai. I have macaroni’s lying at my place and i want to cook it in indian way. Can you suggest some recepies for macaroni with the indian spices?

    Thanks,
    Manjula

    1. Hi Namita,

      Yes, you can use baby spinach but the leaves are so tender that you may have to use a lot more.

  21. Made this last week for dinner! This was WONDERFUL! Your video is very clear and has great instructions. I made the paneer according to your instructions as well.

    Thanks for having clear instructions and making Indian cooking much more approachable. 🙂

  22. Hi,
    You both are doing an awesome job!

    I tried Palak Paneer exactly how you have instructed, but it came out a little bitter. I added more masala & it was fine. But by next day, it was bitter again! Any idea why that is..?

    1. Hi Shuba,

      Some times when the onions are ground too fine, they release a bitter substance. Next time try food processing (but not too much) or chopping by hand.

      1. To avoid the bitterness, cook the onion before grinding. You can choose to cook it, by boiling it in some water in the microwave or on the stove, or cutting and sataying.

  23. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    I tried this recipe today and it came out good. I have been trying many of your recipes and all of them came out good. My family and friends enjoyed it. I believe the reason is that your method for any recipe is very simple and you guys make even the hardest to make recipe seems very simple. 🙂

    Thanks a lot!
    Jemi

  24. Dear Hetal, Anuja,

    thank you so so much for this wonderful palak paneer recipe. i have tried many recipes. this is the simplest and yummiest:)

    If i can post my request for a recipe here: please give us your version of carrot halwa.

  25. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    I have tried this receipe and came out really well…My husband loved it…Thanks a lot..U girls rock!!!

  26. I tried your recipe and it turned out good, though I was not quite certain how high of heat to cook the masala for the range of time that you suggested (I basically kept it on medium high heat 7-8 then lowered it in some sections) for the first time ever frying the Paneer and making the cream spinach curry (which I used 1/2+1/2) it was a successful adventure. thank you so much

  27. Thanks guys for this recipe. It was really good! Really really really good. I also made your mint chutney and served that as a relish. Pre-cooking the spinach is a great idea.

    You’re site is great and you two are great too! Thanks for making Indian cuisine more accessable!

    All the best!
    DG Allen

    1. Hi Adam,

      You can cook the spinach on the stove, in a pot with just a bit of water (the spinach usually releases some juice as well). Cook it uncovered until the leaves are tender.

  28. Great recipe! I almost didn’t make homemade paneer because of the time commitment, but it ended up being the most fun part of the process. I also prepped all my ingredients while the paneer was setting (prepping everything before cooking is absolutely necessary in a tiny New York apartment…) and by the time the paneer was ready, I was ready to cook!

    Thank you so much for this web site, as a newbie to South Asian cooking, your recipes and videos have helped me so much!

    1. Hi Deviki,

      Really, a little more or less spinach will not make a big difference. You can include tender stems and pull out the very tough ones.

  29. Fantastic recipe. just tried it out and came out so well!!!
    Thanks to you ladies. Doing a great job. I learn all my recipes from here.Don’t even miss my mom 😉 for instructions.I’m sure many women will think the same

  30. I would like to modify this receipe also.

    In the 2nd step as per your receipe;
    2. Blend cooked Spinach to desired texture (avoid over-blending).

    I would recommended to blend in very smooth paste. Add 1-1/2 table spoon of yogurt with this smooth paste.

    Now the taste would be like most India Restaurant’s Palak Paneer.

    Another variation,
    Use Mix vegetable & very few paneer with the same receipe. These is also a very good curry. Enjoy….

  31. Hi Hetal & Anuja,

    Just a small tip. To save on calories you can just use the paneer (from the desi shop), cut it in cubes and boil it in water with little fatfree milk (just bring water to boil, add milk to it and then paneer cubes, drain after 3-4 mts). The paneer turns absolutely soft and tastes so much like homemade. I use this in all my paneer recipes. Hope this helps!

  32. Hi there,

    photo looks greatt..just looking at the ingredients and the first question that came in my mind was,

    Can the Spinach and tomato be eaten together.. ?? as they may cause stones in the kidney…

  33. Hi, I would like to know the significance of frying the panner(is it for the taste?) becos I tried without frying it(i bought desi panner from store), It tastes almost similar and also it is soft. Love your site. Great work!

    1. Paneer is fried so that it holds it’s shape better in the recipe (even after a lot of mixing, it does not fall apart). The taste also changes slightly as well as the texture. If you do fry it, you can soak it in some water to soften it up again.

  34. Thank you sooo much! i’ve been looking for this recipe for years never in any Indian recipe book. your explanation is supurb i love how easy and tasty it was now i’m having it 5days in a row and not getting tired of it : ).

    Great job!

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