palak paneer recipe

palak paneer recipe

Palak Paneer serving with Naan for palak paneer recipe

Palak paneer is a versatile, yummy and extremely easy to make. And the best part, you don't even need lots of spice ingredients to make it. If you have been looking for such a easy palak paneer recipe, you have come to the right place. Here I bring you a step by step guide on how to make palak paneer recipe that taste like restaurant style.

Palak paneer is a famous dish from North Indian cuisine and hugely popular in Punjab State.

What is Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer is Indian cottage cheese simmered in a smooth creamy spinach gravy. Palak is the Hindi word for spinach. Spinach puree is seasoned with garlic, onion, tomato and other spices. Cubes of cottage cheese are then simmered with perfection.

This is one of my wife's favorite recipe and she used to cook it regularly with less ingredients. And it tastes superb like that of Punjabi palak paneer. She use lots of garlic  to bring out all the flavours of palak paneer.

I am sharing the same recipe that my wife regularly made at home with step by step instructions with less ingredients.

Before we jumped into the recipe, let's first know some benefits for blanching spinach

benefits 
  • Blanching help to reduce micro  organisms present in spinach and pesticides residue as well from the spinach.
  • It help to preserve the green color of the spinach .
  • Palak contains oxalic acid which binds with calcium in palak thus prevent to absorb the calcium by body. Blanching help to reduce some oxalic acid from the spinach. So calcium remains free to absorb.
  •   You won't get the raw smell of palak after blanching it .
Buy fresh spinach with some extra care. Clean and remove their stem.  It is good to wash the spinach in running water as it often contains muds and dust.
So wash them in running water for 2 - 3 times.

Time taken

Total time taken to make palak paneer takes just under twenty five minutes. This includes the cleaning and blanching the palak also.  This vegetarian palak paneer recipe can be made Vegan by replace the paneer with tofu and fresh cream with coconut cream. Cashew nuts paste can be used if you don't like coconut cream.

Serving suggestions 

Palak paneer is a thick gravy based dish. So some assorted Indian breads goes very well with it. I personally prefer Palak paneer and naan ( butter naan).
Palak paneer and roti is another good combination and mostly preferred  in Indian household.

Steps to make palak paneer restaurant style

Blanching

Wash and rinse the spinach very well under running water. You can discard the hard stem of palak. Boil water in a pan with a pinch of salt . When the water start to boil, add the spinach leaves in water and blanched for 1 minute.

Blanching palak ( spinach) in hot water for palak paneer recipe

After 1 minute , stain the spinach and immediately transfer into a  bowl of ice cold water. This will prevent the palak further cooking and help in preserving the green color as well.

Cooling spinach ( palak) under ice cold water for palak paneer recipe

Making puree

You can cool the spinach under running water as well and leave under water for 1 to 2 minutes to get the same result. When the palak become cold, drain the water and blend with 1 or 2 green chilli, garlic cloves and 1/2 inch of ginger into a fine paste using a mixer grinder or a blender. If necessary add little water to make the puree.

Blanched spinach (palak) garlic and green chili in a grinder for Palak Paneer recipe

Spinach ( palak) paste or puree for Palak Paneer recipe

Making spinach gravy

Now take a pan and heat with 1 tablespoon of Olive oil or cooking oil. When the oil become hot, add the Cumin seeds to sizzle.
Add chopped garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Further add chopped onions and saute for 1  minute or till light brown. Then add  chopped tomatoes and fry till they become soft and mushy. Add the garam masala and salt as per taste.

Sauteing cumin garlic and onion for palak paneer recipe

Sauteing tomatoes with onions cumin and garlic for palak paneer recipe

Now pour the palak puree and mix well with the tomato onion spices. Cook them until bubbles start for about 2 - 3 minutes. Try to avoid over cooking the palak as it can change the colour of palak paneer.

Cooking spinach (Palak) paste for palak paneer recipe

Making palak paneer

Add the paneer cubes into the spinach gravy and mix well. Cook them for 1 minute.

Adding paneer cubes in palak gravy for palak paneer recipe

Finally add fresh cream and butter. Give everything a good mix. Adjust the seasoning and thickness of the gravy.  Remove in a serving bowl and serve hot. Your palak paneer is ready to enjoy.

Cooking palak paneer with adding cream for Palak Paneer recipe

You can garnish the palak paneer with cream and topping with butter cubes 

If you love the recipe of palak paneer then I am sure you would love the   Palak methi recipe as well.

FREEZING PALAK PANEER 

It is not good to freeze palak paneer for  later use as palak is one of those food items  that should not be reheated.
It is rich in nitrate and when reheated again in microwave it turn into toxic, releasing carcinogenic properties , which are generally cancerous in nature.
Palak is rich in Iron. Heating and reheating may oxidize the iron  present in it. Oxidation of iron generates dangerous free radicals which are known to cause many diseases including infertility and cancer.

Punjabi palak paneer

Punjabi palak paneer or restaurant style palak paneer can be made easily at home as well.  Use cashew nuts and pure ghee in the recipe.
Take a pan and heat little oil with 1 teaspoon ghee . When hot add cumin seeds and chopped garlic and saute for 1 minute. Then
add the chopped onions and fry till light brown. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes till they become soft and messy. Pour the palak puree and cashewnuts paste and mix well. Let it come to a simmer.
Add  salt, dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori Methi) , garam masala.Further add paneer cubes and simmer for 1 more minute. Lastly add the cream and remove in a serving bowl. Topped with lemon juice and 1 teaspoon Desi ghee and serve hot the Punjabi palak paneer.
In place of chopped garlic, you can use ginger garlic paste.
.
What is Saag paneer

Saag paneer is a combination of  green leafy based gravy with paneer cubes.These green leafy  combination may be of spinach leaves,  fenugreek leaves and mustard leaves.The term Saag is a very popular  in India and  is associated with the famous dish named Sarsoo da Saag.

So palak paneer and Saag paneer are not same. Both have different method of preparations. In palak paneer, only spinach is used whereas in Saag paneer spinach , fenugreek and mustard leaves are used.Both have same texture and colour but taste different.

 Palak paneer Jain recipe

It is quite easy to make palak paneer recipe without onion and garlic.
• In place of onion use cashew nuts, first soak them in water for 15 minutes and blend with the blanched spinach and green chili.
After sizzling cumin seeds ( jeera) in oil , add  chopped tomatoes and saute till they become mushy. Add 1/3 teaspoon garam masala, salt and coriander powder.
• Add the puree of spinach and cooked for 3-4 minutes till bubbling.Pour in the fresh cream and mix well.Topped with a big cubes of butter.Remove and serve hot with phulka and chapati or jeera rice.

Serving palak paneer with tandoori naan for palak paneer recipe

Palak paneer is a famous dish of North India and very popular in Punjab. Fine puree of palak is seasoned with spices and fresh cubes of paneer are simmered in it. You can make a spicy palak paneer by adding 1 teaspoon green chilli paste. Serve it with chapati or roti.
Prep time      cooking time          serving
10 min            8 min                             2
Author           Mobasir hassan

Ingredients

  •  250 gm fresh palak ( spinach)
  • 2 - 4 green chillies
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 200 gm Paneer cut into cubes
  • 1 medium size onion finely chopped
  • 1 medium size tomato finely chopped
  • 1/2 tabkepoon chopped garlic
  • 1/3 tablespoon cumin
  •  Small pinch of garam masala ( optional)
  •  2 tabkespoon fresh cream
  • 1/2 tabkespoon butter
  • 1 tabkespoon Olive oil ( cooking oil)
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1/3 tabkespoon crushed fenugreek leaves
  • 1/2 tabkespoon ghee ( optional)
  • 1 tabkespoon cashewnuts paste ( optional)
   How to make the recipe
  1. Wash and rinse the palak in running water and discard its hard stems.
  2. Boill water, add salt and blanched them for 1 minute.
  3. Stain them and immediately transfer into a ice cold water to prevent further  cooking.
  4. Drain water from them and blend with 2 green chilles, ginger root and garlic cloves in mixer or grinder to make a fine paste.

   Making palak paneer

  1. Take a pan and heat oil in medium flame. Add the cumin seeds to sizzle.
  2. Add chopped garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Then add the chopped onion and fry till light brown.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and saute till become messy. Then add the garam masala and salt.
  4. Now pour the palak paste and cook until it bubbles for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Add the paneer cubes, mix and cook for another one minute.
  6. Finally pour the fresh cream and mix everything well. Check the seasoning and mix a butter cube and crushed fenugreek leaves with them and remove the gravy.
  7. Garnish the palak paneer with cream and serve hot with homemade chapati.
                           Video

   Palak Paneer recipe video


                         Nutritional value
                         ( Serving size 100g)
  •  Calories :-  71
  •  Protein :- 2 g
  • Fats  :- 4 g
  • Carbohydrate :- 5 g 
                         Serving tips
  • As palak paneer is a gravy based dish , it is best to serve with assorted Indian breads like Naan , Roti and Lachcha paratha.
  • Chapati and phulka can also be served with palak paneer.
  • Steam rice , jeera rice and Pulao are good and best to serve with it .
                       Recipe notes
  • Some people love fried paneer cubes in gravy. In this recipe you can shallow fry the paneer cubes in a non stick pan till golden brown and then simmer in the gravy.
  • When serving the palak paneer , squeeze lemon juice over the palak paneer gravy. It help to absorb the iron present in palak paneer.
  • Sometimes the store brought paneer become hard. Soak them in warm water for 10 - 12 minutes helps it to soften.
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Mobasir hassan
I am a professional chef working with leading brand Radisson as a Sous chef.
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