Palak Paneer is a popular Indian delicacy where the paneer is cooked in the spicy and aromatic spinach gravy. This irresistible dish is also a classic accompaniment for breads like naan, roti, chapatis.
Paneer is a non melting Indian cheese that can be prepared at home or is also available in any Indian store. You can checkout my recipe on homemade paneer and paneer tikka masala. I have served this dish with wheat roti and will soon post the recipe for the same.
To make this dish healthier and low in fat, I have substituted paneer with tofu. I always add all the whole garam masalas available in my pantry. I would recommend adding at least few of them to make this dish flavorful. You can also marinate and pan fry the paneer or tofu before adding it to the gravy.
I am posting this dish today upon requests from many of my readers. Do try and let me know how it turned out 🙂
Also to make this dish vegan, you can substitute
- paneer with tofu
- cream or milk with coconut milk
- butter with vegetable oil
Preparation time : 30 minutes
Serves : 4
Ingredients for Palak Paneer
Palak / Spinach – 1 medium bunch
Paneer / Tofu – 1 block (14 oz)
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Clove – 2
Cardamom seeds – 5 to 6
Bay leaf -1
Star anise – 1
Marati moggu – 1
Vegetable oil – 1 tbsp
Onion chopped – 1
Garlic cloves – 7 to 8
Green chilies – 2
Ginger grated – 1 inch
Tomato chopped – 1
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Red chile powder / Cayenne powder – 1 to 1 1/2 tsp (or as per taste)
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Tomato ketchup – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Milk – 1/4 cup (coconut milk for vegan version)
Dried Kasuri methi – 1 tsp (optional)
Ginger julienne – 1 inch
Coriander leaves / Cilantro – 5 strands
Steps to prepare Palak Paneer
- Wash and cook the spinach in boiling water for 2 minutes and transfer to a bowl with cold water to stop the cooking process.
- After about a minute, remove the spinach from cold water, drain any excess water and transfer to a blender or grinder and blend it to form a smooth paste.
- You may add little water while blending if required.
- Heat vegetable oil in pan. Add cumin seeds, clove, cardamom seeds, bay leaf, star anise, marati moggu and saute for few seconds.
- Now add onion along with some salt and saute until it turns translucent.
- Next, add garlic cloves, ginger, green chilies and continue sauteing till onion becomes light golden in color.
- Add tomatoes and cook until they are softened.
- Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, coriander powder and saute for 2 minutes.
- Add tomato ketchup, blended spinach paste, and milk and simmer it uncovered on medium-high flame for about 5 minutes.
- Finally add cubes of paneer (or tofu) and continue simmering on medium flame for another 5 minutes.
- You may garnish the dish with crushed kasuri methi, ginger julienne, coriander leaves and a dollop of butter if desired.
- Palak Paneer is now ready. Serve hot with wheat naan or your favorite bread and enjoy.
- To retain the green color of spinach, make sure spinach is cooked uncovered.
- Do not add too much water to this dish. It should be thick.
- Marinate and pan fry the paneer or tofu cubes or simply shallow fry and add the paneer cubes to the gravy if desired. The taste may vary accordingly. I like the soft cubes and thus not fried them.
- You can also add few cashews in the gravy if desired.