Palak Paneer is a breeze to make - the sauce is made from frozen spinach and literally gets done in a blender! I usually alternate between this vegetarian version, a vegan option of Palak Tofu and one with Chicken, depending who's coming to dinner and what other dishes I have planned out.
This recipe for Palak Paneer (Paneer with Spinach) was created in partnership with Nanak Foods. All opinions, as always, are my own. I only write about and recommend products I use and love myself.
If there is ONE green vegetable we can't get enough of in this house, then that would have to be, hands down, spinach! Spinach is something that finds its way into my shopping cart week after week - be it in the form of fresh baby leaves in a bag or as a frozen block. I add it to my salads, sandwiches, omelettes, simmer it in my Dal, and relish it in a million other ways. But our absolute favourite way to eat spinach - and honestly, I make this at least a few times every month, is Palak Paneer.
Other substitutions for Palak Paneer:
I love adding a dish of Palak Panner to my dinner party menu for that added punch of green amongst all the yellow and red that usually dominates an Indian dining table. I usually alternate between this vegetarian version, a vegan option of Palak Tofu and one with Chicken, depending who's coming to dinner and what other dishes I have planned out.
Every so often, when all the paneer, tofu or chicken in the dish gets over and we're still left with the delicately spiced delicious green sauce, I love adding in some frozen corn and giving it a whole new identity. Which is not to say that you have to wait for the sauce to be leftover! By all means, skip the paneer altogether and add in some frozen corn kernels to make a delicious bowl of Corn Palak instead. It's a delight either way.
Palak Paneer from frozen spinach:
I normally prefer making this Palak Paneer recipe using frozen spinach. This is mainly because you'll need a truckload of fresh leaves to get even a tiny bit of cooked down, blended puree. Also, using frozen spinach is super easy and saves me the time from steaming the fresh leaves before pureeing them. But if you're up for it, then go ahead. Either way, you'll have lip-smacking dinner waiting for you!
Palak Paneer (Paneer with Spinach)
- 2 tablespoon light cooking oil
- 400 gms paneer cut into 1-inch sized cubes
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala
- salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 large tomato finely chopped
- 300-400 gms frozen spinach thawed and pureed
- ½ cup plain yogurt beaten till smooth
- water as needed
- Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a non-stick pan, and fry the paneer pieces in batches till lightly browned on all sides. Remove from heat and keep aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and add in cumin seeds. Once they start to sizzle, add in the onions, ginger and garlic.
- Fry the onions, ginger and garlic till fragrant and lightly browned. Add in the spices, salt and tomato paste, and fry for a few seconds till mixed well.
- Mix in chopped tomatoes and cook till it begins to soften and pulp.
- Slowly stir in the spinach puree and cook covered on low heat for 4-5 minutes till it starts to bubble. Add in the beaten yogurt, stirring well to blend in.
- Add in the fried paneer pieces and let it cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, till the sauce starts to bubble. Add in some water if you’d like a thinner consistency and let it come to a quick boil.
- Serve warm over some rice or with a side of warm Naan.
NOTE: For a vegan version, substitute paneer with firm tofu and use dairy-free yogurt instead.
This post was originally published in January 2014 and has been recently updated.
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