Palak Paneer (Saag Paneer)




One of the veggies/greens, that I prefer using frozen over fresh, is spinach. I’d always heard food network’s chefs rave about why frozen spinach is better than fresh. But, since I’m a cynic of the ugliest order, I couldn’t but help do my own research. Evidently what those super cool chefs, whose incessant smiling and fresh make up, after having cooked up a three course meal (apparently, all by themselves * eyes rolling*) , annoys the crap out of you, have all along been telling the gospel truth. Documented studies have stated that spinach in the frozen form, tend to hold on to their nutrition more than the ones left at room temperature or in the refrigerator. It also states that, you tend to cook more (and thus consume more) quantity of spinach when they are chopped and frozen because their volume significantly reduces during the process. I always preferred using frozen only because it was lesser work and made absolutely no difference in taste, until I stumbled upon these studies. So now I’m convinced, and I restate, the lazier me always tends to provide healthier options for my family :D.


10 oz frozen spinach, defrosted  or 1 lb fresh spinach, chopped
small bunch of mustard leaves, chopped (optional)
1 small bunch fresh fenugreek leaves, chopped (optional)
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 –3 tbsp chopped cilantro 
1 med sized onion, chopped
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1-2 green chilies (as per tolerance)
14 oz of paneer 
11/2tsp garam masala (I use my kashmiri masala because it has fennel in it and I love the taste of fennel with spinach. if you don’t have it, you can use the punjabi garam masala + 1/2 tsp of roasted crushed fennel seeds)
1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
1/2 tsp roasted ground cumin
1/2 tsp coriander powder (optional)
salt to taste
3-4 tbsp of fresh cream or 2 dollops of  sour cream for garnish


  • Cut the paneer into slabs (not cubes) and toast them on both sides in a non stick pan in 1 tbsp of oil. Make sure you don’t over do it. Both the sides should have just a slight hint of brown to bring out the nutty flavor of the paneer.
  • When all the slabs of paneer are toasted cut them up into small cubes, sprinkle a little salt and set aside.
  • Heat a tbsp of refined oil, add cumin sauté for a minute.
  • Add in the chopped onions, sauté till golden brown
  • Add ginger-garlic paste, chilies, turmeric, coriander, garam masala   and tomatoes and sauté till the oil comes clear.
  • Add all the greens and sauté till they cook.
  • Turn off the heat. Let it cool.
  • Grind the cooled mixture in a blender or food processor along with the mint and cilantro to a slightly coarse paste.
  • Pour the ground mixture back to the same skillet. Stir in the paneer cubes, lemon juice and let it boil for a couple of minutes till it all comes together.
  • Take off the flame. Garnish with fresh cream or sour cream
  • Serve hot with Indian Breads .
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    5 Responses to “Palak Paneer (Saag Paneer)”

    1. anju says:

      thanksss i need d recipe to make paalak paneer………..

    2. Cooking Tom says:

      This is a delightful recipe. My family loves Saag, and this one is becoming a favorite. I, too, use frozen spinach, BTW.

    3. stephanie patridge says:

      Thanks for this amazing recipe. We made our own cheese yesterday, and used it in this recipe today. The fennel suggestion was excellent. Thanks so much.

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