Palak Paneer (Saag Paneer)

Paneer is a fresh cheese that has become popular all over the world. It is a blank canvas and can be marinated and grilled or added in curries. Good paneer is soft when cooked. Traditional paneer dishes are from the Punjab region of India. Today paneer is found in local grocery stores around the world. The trick to make store bought paneer (rarely as good as homemade) soft is to cut in pieces and soak in hot water for 15-20 mins, strain and it is ready to add to your dishes. If you plan to make it at home there are lots of recipes online. It is quite simple- you curdle milk with lemon, pour into a colander, put it on a cheesecloth, squeeze all the liquid out, weigh it down; I use a cast iron pan. Once set, refrigerate or use immediately. Truth be told, it has been ages since I made paneer at home, it is so easily available and I usually have a couple of blocks in the freezer. This is my son’s favourite and I make it when he is home. I cannot tolerate dairy so I do not eat it. But I eat the gravy if there is no cream in it. This recipe is adapted from Ranveer Brar’s recipe.

This is a protien rich dish with spinach in it so a healthy dish in all.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 bunches fresh spinach or 1 bag frozen spinach, blanched and pureed
  • 250 gms paneer (1 block)
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil + 1 tsp ghee (If vegan, leave out ghee and add 2 tsp oil instead)
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, very finely chopped or grated
  • 1 inch ginger, very finely chopped or grated
  • 1-3 green chillies, very finely chopped – depending on spice level
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp corainder powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tbsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)- optional but elevates the dish
  • 1 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp fresh cream (optional)
  • 1 pinch nutmeg powder
  • Tempering (optional)- 1 tsp oil/ghee, 2 dried red chillies, 1/2 inch ginger-julienned, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • cilantro 1 tsp chopped for garnish

Directions

  • Dice paneer into 1 inch cubes and place in bowl
  • Boil water and pour over panner and let it sit for 15-30 minutes. This will make store bought paneer soft
  • Drain paneer and keep aside
  • Heat 2 tsp oil. Add paneer, fry and set aside (this step is optional- you do not need to fry the paneer for a healthier option)
  • Heat 1 tsp oil and 1 tsp ghee
  • Add bayleaves and cumin seeds
  • Add chopped opnions, ginger garlic and chilies and fry till golden brown
  • Add masalas (cumin powder, chilli powder and coriander powder) and mix till fragrant- 1-2 minutes
  • Add kasuri methi (fenugreek leaves) and fry for a minute
  • Add tomatoes and cook.
  • Add salt to taste
  • Add a cup or so of water and cook for a few minutes.
  • Optional- Add 2 tbsp cream
  • Add pureed spinach and cook
  • Keep stirring and cook till it all incorporates together and the oil floats up
  • Add a pinch of nutmeg
  • Add paneer and cook for a minute
  • Optional- In another pan, heat oil/ghee, add cumin seeds, ginger and red chillies and fry for 30 seconds. Add red chilli powder and take off flame
  • Pour over the spinach gravy
  • Garnish with cilantro
  • Serve with rice, roti or naan

4 Comments Add yours

  1. shobhnaa says:

    Spinach is so much in season.I like Palak Paneer very much.Your version is little bit different. I will try this one too.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much. I hope you like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sowmya says:

    Wonderful recipe Preeti.

    Like

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