Palak Paneer


How to Cook Indian

Published by Stewart, Tabori and Chang

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Palak paneer is one of the most common everyday Punjabi dishes. Spinach is a winter green in India, but thanks to advanced technology, fresh spinach is available almost all year round. However, you can also use frozen spinach in this recipe. I’m of the opinion that palak paneer tastes best without too many spices and herbs, hence the simplicity of this version. Serve this dish with parathas.

NotesChef’s Tip

To retain the bright green color of the spinach-not to mention its flavor-do not overcook it.




Total Timeunder 1 hour

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian


Taste and Texturecheesy, garlicky, savory, spiced


  • 3 large bunches fresh spinach, stemmed
  • 1¾ teaspoons table salt
  • 4 green chiles, stemmed and chopped
  • ¼ cup (50 ml) vegetable oil
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 12 to 14 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 10 ounces (300 grams) paneer, cut into 1-inch (2½-cm) cubes
  • 1½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup(60 ml) heavy cream


  1. Wash the spinach thoroughly under running water. Drain well in a colander.

  2. Place a nonstick saucepan over medium heat, add 10 cups (2 liters) water and 1 teaspoon of the salt, and bring to a boil. Add the spinach and blanch in the salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Refresh under running water. Drain well in a colander.

  3. Transfer to a food processor, add the chiles, and process to a fine paste.

  4. Place a nonstick sauté pan over medium heat and add the oil. When small bubbles appear at the bottom of the pan, add the cumin. When it begins to change color, add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the spinach purée and stir. Add ½ cup (100 ml) water.

  5. Bring to a boil, then add the paneer and stir gently. Add the remaining salt and the lemon juice, and stir gently. Add the cream and remove from the heat. Taste and add more salt if needed.

  6. Serve hot.


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