Palak Paneer: The Eternal Classic
Image Credit: Palak paneer is a healthy gravy dish | Unsplash

Palak paneer is a vegetarian dish, consisting of paneer in a thick paste made from pureed spinach, called Palak in Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and other Indian languages. The terms Palak Paneer and Saag Paneer are used interchangeably in restaurants. However, saag is different from traditional palak paneer in that it contains other green leafy vegetables, such as mustard greens, whereas palak paneer only contains spinach. Palak paneer is served hot as a side dish with roti, naan, paranthas, makki di roti or boiled rice. It can also be served with onions, lemon wedges and a piece of jaggery on the side taking a more traditional approach. In recent years, there have been fusion variations of palak paneer.

Paneer is a fresh and unaged cheese, made by curdling freshly boiled milk (using vinegar or lemon juice) and weighing it down to create compact cheese. This form of cheese does not melt when cubed and cooked. It takes on flavours of different curries and complements a variety of dishes.

Delicious palak paneer | Instagram - @kitchen_diaries_by_shazia

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Servings: 2


  • Palak Paneer
  • 2 bunches - Palak leaves (cleaned and blanched in ice-cold water)
  • 1inch - ginger
  • 2-3 - garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 2 - green chilies (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp - ghee
  • 1 tbsp - oil
  • ¼ tsp - cumin seeds
  • 3-4 - cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch - asafoetida
  • 2-3 - onions (chopped)
  • 2-3 - garlic pods (chopped)
  • 1 - tomato (chopped)
  • 1 tsp - coriander seeds (roasted and crushed)
  • ½ tbsp - kasoori methi (crushed and roasted)
  • ½ tsp - turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp - red chili powder
  • 2-3 - leaves of spinach (chopped)
  • 2 bunches of Spinach (blanched and pureed)
  • 250- 300 gms - paneer (cut into cubes)
  • 1 tbsp - fresh cream 
  • Salt to taste


  • In a pot, blanch spinach leaves in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, once done remove and transfer to ice cold water immediately (this helps retain the rich green colour of the leaves)
  • In a blender add ginger, garlic and make a paste, to this add the cooked spinach and blend once more, set aside
  • In a pan, heat ghee, add the bay leaf, cumin seeds and asafoetida
  • Stir well for 1-2 minutes, add the onion and garlic and saute till they turn translucent
  • Add tomato and mix everything well till it turns mushy
  • Add turmeric, red chili, kasoori methi, crushed coriander seeds, and some coriander powder
  • Mix well and add some chopped spinach, add the previously prepared spinach mixture and mix well till all comes together 
  • Add a bit of hot water and salt, paneer cubes and mix lightly 
  • Sprinkle garam masala and allow this mixture to cook for 1-2 minutes
  • Add a dash of fresh cream and fold it into the gravy
  • Once done, turn off the heat and its ready to serve with paranthas or makke ki roti 

In September 2020, Vietnam-based Pizza 4P's created unique fusion pizzas in honor of the International Day of Peace. One of these variations was a palak paneer-chapli kebab pizza to symbolize peace between India and Pakistan.