Saag Paneer (Palak Paneer)

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
A reader recently emailed me looking for a good version of saag paneer, the classic spiced spinach and paneer dish from North India. As popular as this dish is, I couldn't believe that I didn't have a recipe for it on my blog. Inspired by the absence, I consulted my treasured copy of Lord Krishna's Cuisine by Yamuna Devi where we find that although this dish is usually made with spinach, sometimes it is made with various mixed greens such as combinations of spinach and mustard leaves, collard greens, fenugreek leaves or beet greens. The possibilities are endless.

My dinner companions were certainly delighted with the adaptation I came up with from the book. I served it with some basmati rice, but any Indian flatbread and soup would also go just perfectly alongside this dish.

saag paneer

Also a reminder that you have until the end of this month to submit your favorite Indian dish for a chance to win a copy of Raghavan Iyer's 660 Curries.

Saag Paneer (Chopped Spinach with Paneer Cheese)Saag Paneer (Chopped Spinach with Paneer Cheese)
Recipe by
Adapted from Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking
Cuisine: Indian
Published on November 8, 2011

The classic North Indian dish of spiced creamy spinach and fried paneer cheese

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  • 3 - 4 hot green or red chillies, chopped
  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 4 tablespoons yogurt, yogurt whey or water
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 6 tablespoons ghee or oil
  • 14 oz. paneer cheese, cut into cubes
  • 2 pounds fresh spinach, rinsed, trimmed and chopped
  • 2/3 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 3 generous tablespoons of cream cheese (or cream)
  • In a blender or food processor, blend together the chilies, ginger, yogurt (or whey or water), coriander, turmeric, cumin, paprika and cayenne until you have a smooth purée. Set aside.

  • Heat the ghee or oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. When hot, add the paneer cubes and gently fry, turning often, until the cubes are nicely browned on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

  • In the same pan add the spice mixture, stir and add the spinach. Cover and simmer over medium low heat for about 8 minutes. Stir, cover again and cook for another 8 minutes.

  • Stir in the garam masala, salt, fried paneer and cream cheese (or cream). Cover and cook for another 5 minutes, stir and serve.

Makes 5 - 6 servings
spinach and paneer Indian

More paneer cheese recipes you may enjoy:
Curried Red Kidney Beans with Paneer Cheese
Mung Bean Paneer
Macaroni and Paneer Cheese

On the top of the reading stack: cookbooks

Audio Accompaniment: Bavarian Fruit Bread by Hope Sandoval


MapMaster said...

Absolutely amazing, one of the best Indian dishes ever

Brindavan in the bay area said...

I usually add a few sprigs of mint when i run the spinach through the food processor. It has got very good feedback

hotpotcooking said...

best side dish for rotis said...

This is the dish that made me fall in love with Indian food. Its hard to believe, but there are people out there who are either intimidated or confused about Indian cuisine, and I think this flavorful, rich dish is a great place to start.

Yogi Kitchen said...

Hi Lisa - thanks for the perfect inspiration, we are on a bit of a paneer kick at the moment here in Msyore and this is one of Adam's favourite dishes, we will be making it within the week, followed by matar paneer, all yum!


basil said...

This is absolute bliss.

Anonymous said...

This is one of my favourite dishes ever. I recently even tried making paneer at home and was surprised at how easy that is. A great inspiration, thank you!

team ecoSycle said...

It sounds and looks lovely, comforting but still very healthy. Perfect!