Palak paneer recipe – Best palak paneer recipe that is tried, tested and truly delicious! This north Indian cottage cheese in spinach gravy is a family favorite and especially the most popular paneer recipe across India. Tastes best with butter naan, roti and plain kulcha.
Punjabi Palak paneer recipe can be made in many ways. This best palak paneer recipe is from my mom’s recipes collection. I have been making this for quite sometime now. Before I got hold of this recipe I also used to make Sanjeev kapoor’s palak paneer recipe and we like that also.
Paneer and spinach is one of the best combinations in north Indian cuisine especially. Just like palak paneer we can make many other recipes like palak pulao, palak kabab, hara bhara kabab with these two ingredients. I make palak paneer very often as it is one of the healthiest Indian curry. Palak or spinach is full of iron and paneer is rich in calcium. I often make this curry home style, that is without dhungar method or fresh cream.
You can very easily make this curry more rich and creamy for guests or special occasions. Below I have listed some points to follow so that you can make perfect restaurant style palak paneer.
How to make restaurant style palak paneer:
- To make palak paneer with smoky flavor just like restaurants I use dhungar method sometimes. You can make use of dhungar method in other restaurant style curries also to get that characteristic smoky flavor. Dhungar method is infusing the flavor of hot charcoal into the prepared dish.
- Blanching the spinach also helps in attaining restaurant style flavor. Blanching the spinach gives the curry a vibrant color especially without any food coloring. It also removes any possible bitterness from matured spinach leaves. Here I have blanched the palak leaves very briefly so there is no nutrient loss too.
- Adding fresh cream towards the end also gives a rich and creamy texture just like in restaurants. You can also add cashew paste for more rich curry.
- Furthermore if needed you can add a pinch of baking soda while blanching spinach. This will retain the color of spinach and more effective than adding sugar.
Few tips to make delicious palak paneer:
- The amount of spinach used should not be more or less.
- To keep the color of the curry vibrant blanch the spinach leaves with some sugar
- Do not keep the pureed palak for long time
- Try to use fresh and tender spinach leaves as they cook fast.
- Do not over cook as that will diminish the green color of the curry.
- Instead of fresh cream you can add cashew paste in this recipe.
To make palak paneer recipe at home you need very less and simple ingredients. All you need are cumin seeds, bay leaf and garam masala. It is best to use butter for sauteing as it greatly increases the flavor of the finished dish. Try to use homemade paneer for palak paneer recipe. Sometimes store bought paneer will turn hard and rubbery once added to the gravy and to avoid that keep the cubed paneer in hot water until use.
Palak paneer recipe video:
how to make palak paneer recipe (step by step pictures)
To make blanched spinach puree:
1. First of all separate the palak leaves from the bunch and wash thoroughly to get rid of any dirt or mud. Chop onion and tomatoes finely. Peel and crush the garlic cloves.
2. Bring plenty of water to rolling boil in big vessel. To the boiling water add 1/2 teaspoon sugar and mix well. Also add the washed spinach leaves and blanch them for 2-3 minutes.
3. Once blanched wash the spinach leaves in cold running water. Allow to cool for few minutes.
4. Grind the blanched leaves to a smooth puree along with green chilies and ginger. You can also add garlic cloves.
Making the palak paneer curry:
5. First of all heat oil or butter in a thick bottomed pan. Add bay leaf and saute for 2 minutes. Next add crushed garlic and chopped onions. Saute till the onion changes color slightly.
6. Now add the chopped tomatoes and saute well till the tomatoes turn mushy. As next step, add chilli powder,mix well and cook for 2 minutes.
7. Now add the spinach puree and mix well. Add 1/4 cup water. Also add salt and sugar. Mix well and cook for 3-4 minutes.
8. Then add garam masala and mix well.
9. Now add the paneer cubes and simmer for 3-4 minutes. After this step you can also add 2 tablespoons fresh cream.
10. Finally add fresh lemon juice and mix well. Serve hot with naan or roti. This curry also goes well with jeera rice.
Vegans can make palak paneer by using tofu in place of paneer.
Palak paneer recipe card below:
- 250 grams spinach leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 3 green chilies
- 1/2 inch ginger peeled
- 1 onion finely chopped OR 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 2 tomatoes finely chopped OR 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
- 2-3 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
- 200 grams paneer cut into bite size cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
- 1/2 sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 200 grams paneer cubed
- 2 tablespoons fresh cream
- 1/2 teaspoon kasuri methi
- 2 tablespoons oil or butter
- Wash the spinach leaves thoroughly.
- Blanch the spinach leaves in boiling water along with sugar for 3-4 minutes.
- Wash the blanched leaves in cold running water. Puree the spinach along with ginger and green chilli
Heat oil or butter in a thick bottomed pan. Add bay leaf and saute well.
- Add crushed garlic,chopped onions and saute for 3-4 minutes.
- Add chopped tomatoes and mix well. Saute till the tomatoes turn mushy.
- Add chili powder and saute well.
- Add the spinach puree and mix well. Add sugar,salt and garam masala. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the chopped paneer cubes and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
- Add lemon juice,mix well and serve palak paneer hot.
1. Washing the spinach leaves in cold running water is important to stop the blanching process and retain the color.
2. Adding sugar while blanching retains color and increases taste.