Palak Paneer (Indian cottage cheese in spinach sauce)

Soft chunks of paneer coated in a creamy spinach sauce, there is no better way to have your greens than a palak paneer.

Palak paneer originates from the punjab region in India, often served with makki ki roti (corn flour chapati). Wheat chapatis, white or brown rice, quinoa or cauliflowers rice are other options for serving it with. Palak paneer is a popular menu item at the indian dhabas (local food stalls) which sell unpretentious but finger licking food at a very reasonable price. This is a recipe that will give you dhaba style palak paneer at the comfort of your home.

I used fresh spinach here for this recipe but you could substitute it for frozen. Paneer could be found at any indian grocery store, or could also be made at home (I will do a home made paneer video soon too).

Here is the recipe (written instructions below)

Ingredients Serves 4 I Preparation time: 20 minutes I Cooking time: 30 minutes

• Fresh/frozen spinach 200 grams

• 2 medium tomatoes

• Green chilies 2–4 (adjust according to your spice preference)

• Coriander leaves 1/4 cup

• Ghee 1 tsp

• Onion 1

• Garlic cloves 5–7

• Coriander powder 1 tsp

• Cumin seeds 1 tsp

• Full fat yogurt 1 cup

• Salt 3/4 tsp

• Garam masala powder 1 tsp

• Black salt (optional) 1/4 tsp (if not using, add more salt)

• Fresh cream 1/2 cup

• Paneer 400 grams

• Juice of half lemon


  1. Fill a big pot with about 2 litres of water and bring it to boil. Turn off heat and add the spinach and the tomato/es. Cross slit the tomatoes before adding them to the pot. Leave for 10 minutes. (If using frozen spinach leave it for 20 minutes in the pot.)
  2. Drain the excess water and allow to cool down.
  3. Peel the tomatoes and transfer to a blender jar along with the spinach, coriander leaves and green chilies and make a smooth paste. Set aside.
  4. Heat the ghee in a pan on medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent.
  5. Add the garlic and saute for a minute.
  6. Then add the cumin seeds and coriander powder and saute for another minute.
  7. Add the yogurt and salt and let cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  8. After 5 minutes, take the pan off heat and let the yogurt mixture cool down.
  9. In the meanwhile, cut the paneer in about 2 cm cubes.
  10. Transfer to a blender jar and make a smooth paste.
  11. Pour the yogurt and spinach mixture to a heated pan on medium heat and add the black salt and garam masala. Give it a good mix.
  12. After the sauce starts to bubble, add the paneer and coat it gently with the sauce.
  13. Add the fresh cream and mix well.
  14. When the sauce starts to bubble, let it cook for a minute and then turn off the heat.
  15. Finish off by adding juice of half lemon.


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