Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Palak Paneer Recipe

This recipe has taken me years to perfect to my husband and I's liking. A little over 4 years ago, my husband and I live in Arlington, TX and quite frequently ate at a small Indian restaurant close to the UTA campus. This wonderful little place was responsible for my Indian food obsession. Our favorite food there was, hands down, the palak (palak paneer if served with paneer cheese, or palak chana is served with chick peas). Palak is a thick, creamy, pureed spinach dish in a curry sauce.

We have tried numerous online recipes, but none had quite the same taste. I decided to makes numerous changes over time...and this is the final product!

This recipe is best served over rice or on naan (garlic naan is my favorite!)

Ingredients :

* 250 Grams of cubed paneer (lightly fried until golden brown in 1 tbs of ghee or butter)
*4 small tomatoes (I have found that using 2 big tomatoes makes the recipe too watery) blanched in hot water and then pureed. Make sure you use only 2 1/2 cups of the puree with this recipe.
* 8 packed cups of fresh spinach (without stems - about 3 big bunches, packaged spinach works too) blanched in hot water for 2 minutes, drain (keep 1 cup of water to add later if your palak is too thick) and puree into a paste
*1 1/2 to 2 tbs ghee (or butter)
*1.5 tsp cumin seeds
*2 onions finely chopped
*2 Thai chiles sliced lengthwise (you can use serranos, but they will alter the taste greatly)
*1 tsp ginger & garlic paste
*1 tsp red chili powder
*1 tbsp coriander powder
*1 tsp ground cumin (optional, but I like the extra cumin taste in my recipe)
*1/2 tsp garam masala powder (if you do not have this you can make it from grinding 2 cloves, 1 cardamon pod, & 1 cinnamon stick into a fine powder)
*2 - 4 tbs of malai or thick cream (the Nestle cream, found in most Latin food aisles work great! Or use "Puck" cream in the Asian aisle)

Add ghee in a large pot on med/high heat. Add cumin seeds and let them "splutter". Add onions and Thai chiles and saute them until light brown. Add ginger/garlic pasted and fry for another 3 minutes. Add red chili powder, coriander, and powdered cumin (if you decide to use it - I highly recommend it!). Add the tomato paste and let it cook for 5-6 minutes on med heat. Add the palak paste and let it cook further for another 4-5 minutes. Puree the entire pot (you may have to do it in 2 batches), return to the pot, and mix in the malai or cream. Add paneer cubes and serve over naan or rice!

*If you prefer to substitute the cheese for the chick peas, add one can of chick peas or 1 1/2 cups cooked (from about 1/2 cup dry).

~ Enjoy!


  1. Thanks for giving different method of palak paneer recipe is very delicious recipe and good for health. Here one of the variety taste of paneer dish that is Paneer Biryani recipe and easy to prepare at home.

  2. Just made this today, it was delicious!! I'll take the peppers back out before puréeing next time ;)


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