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Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer

Shweta Arora
Palak Paneer is a popular North Indian curry dish made with soft paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and smooth creamy spinach puree that is infused with spices . It can be served with Naan/Roti/Chapati or even Rice.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people

Equipment

Ingredients
  

For Spinach Puree:

  • 16 oz Spinach leaves Palak, using baby spinach
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water (only for stove top method)

For the Gravy:

  • 1-2 tablespoon oil or ghee
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 10 oz Paneer (300 gms, using frozen)
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 inch piece ginger finely chopped or grated
  • 2 green chillies (or to taste)finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder optional
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds powder zeera powder
  • ½ tablespoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon dry mango powder amchur
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon dry fenugreek leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)

Instructions
 

Stove top Method: 

  • Soak the paneer in hot water until we are making the gravy. This will help the paneer turn nice and soft especially if its frozen. Skip it if you are using fresh paneer. Once soft cut in to cubes and keep soaked until ready to use.
  • In a vessel heat water and when it comes to a boil add the spinach leaves. In couple of minutes the spinach leaves will wilt and shrink in size. Add ½ teaspoon salt and sugar and mix and cook for couple of minutes more. So in all you will cook the spinach for 5-7 mins on medium high. Remove and keep aside (along with the remaining liquid) to cool and then puree it in a blender until smooth. Usually the water remaining in the boiled spinach should be sufficient to puree but if not add some and puree.
  • Now in a vessel heat oil in a vessel and once hot add the bay leaf and cumin seeds. Once the seeds splutter add the onion and saute till they turn translucent.
  • Next add ginger garlic green chillies and saute till raw garlic smell disappears and onions are light brown.
  • Add the tomatoes, salt and turmeric powder. Mix well. Cover and cook till tomatoes are soft.
  • Now add all the spices like red chilli , cumin seeds, coriander, dry mango and garam masala. Crush the fenugreek leaves between your palms and then add it to the gravy. Mix well and cook for about 2 mins stirring intermittently.
    If you like a smoother gravy you can puree this masala before adding the paneer and spinach puree but this step is optional.
  • Add paneer cubes and gently mix so that all the masala is well incorporated with the paneer. Cover and cook for 2 mins.
  • Finally add the spinach puree and give it a good stir. Cook for about a minute or two and Palak paneer is ready!

Instant Pot Method: 

  • Soak the paneer in hot water until we are making the gravy. This will help the paneer turn nice and soft especially if its frozen. Skip it if you are using fresh paneer. Once soft cut in to cubes and keep soaked until ready to use.
  • Turn on the instant pot on saute mode and add oil/ghee to it. When the oil is hot, add the bay leaf and cumin seeds. Once the seeds splutter add the onion and saute till they turn translucent.
  • Next add ginger garlic green chillies and saute till raw garlic smell disappears about a min or so.
  • Add the tomatoes along with all the spices like salt, turmeric powder, red chilli , cumin seeds, coriander, dry mango and garam masala. Mix well and saute for a minute more. Deglaze with little (1-2 tablespoon) water if need be.
  • Add the washed and drained palak leaves. Give it a quick stir to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom.
  • Close the instant pot lid with vent to sealing position and select “MANUAL” or PRESSURE COOK” for 0mins. Once the pot beeps , wait for 5 mins and then so a Quick Release.
  • Open the lid, remove the bay leaf and using an immersion blender make it to a smooth gravy.
  • Crush the fenugreek leaves between your palms and then add it to the gravy along with the paneer cubes (defrosted and drained).
  • Switch the instant pot back to Sauté mode, mix well and cook for about 2 mins stirring intermittently. Palak paneer is ready!

Notes

  • Adding turmeric powder is optional as its said to play with the green color of the gravy. I usually add it but you can skip it too. 
  • Depending how thick/think you like your gravy to be adjust the water consistency. 
  • Use good quality fresh and soft paneer for this dish. 
 
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