Sunday, October 13, 2013

Palak Paneer (Spinach Cheese)

Sorry for the super long delay between posts!  So much has happened in the last six months!  Our sweet baby boy turned 1 year old, we took on a huge move from Chicago to Jersey City, I started and left a life changing program for junior youth, my husband began a new job, and we are now just starting to have some normality in our lives.  Cooking has certainly been a large part of these last six months, but documenting and sharing have fallen to the way side.  I'm so very excited to start this back up again and I do hope that those who are following and have tried these recipes will share their experiences!!!  This blog has received an amazing number of hits and I hope it's been helpful!  Some upcoming recipes to look forward to:  Chicken Biryani, Kofta, Kofta Pilau, Urid Ki Daal, Kaddu Ki Sabzi, & Tahari! 


Palak Paneer (Spinach Cheese) is one of those dishes that almost every American that has tasted Indian/Pakistani food has tried or at least heard about.  It's one of the more popular dishes.  I'm not quite sure if I'm happy with this recipe or not...  something about the cream makes it taste a little different than I'm used to in restaurants.  It's still EXTREMELY mild and definitely something you should make if you are new to the Pakistani cooking realm.  I make it on occasion when I'm craving paneer and spinach.  Paneer is a sort of soft cheese that you should not really try to substitute with any other kind of cheese.  It holds its form while frying, which is an important part of the process.

First, chop & boil 2 pounds of spinach for about 10 minutes.  Drain the water.

Then finely chop 1 small onion.

(How it looks when boiled & drained).

Put in blender and blend into a paste.

Looking good!

In two tablespoons of vegetable/canola oil, and 7 tablespoons of butter (not pictured because I did it wrong in these pictures -- I added mine much later), fry your onions on high heat.

Until they are golden brown (like the above picture).  Add 1 tablespoon of Garlic Paste.  Fry for a couple of minutes on high heat.

Next add your blended spinach, about 1-1.5 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon white pepper, and 1 tablespoon of green chili paste.

I used this sauce instead of the paste once and it didn't make a huge difference, so feel free to use what you can find.  Or blend up some fresh green chilis (maybe 1 or 2).  Cook for about 5 minutes on medium/high heat.

Add 3 teaspoons of corn meal (not corn starch), mix, and cook for another 5 minutes.


Add 1 & 1/2 cups of fresh cream (Puck is the brand that we use).  Turn off stove.

 Next cut up about 1 & 1/2 cups of paneer (maybe half a standard block from the store).

Fry on high heat in enough oil to cover the base of the pan.  Or you can deep fry them like I did in the picture...  but really you just need to brown the edges -- so what I did was a little excessive.

You just want to fry them until they are a nice golden color and then quickly take them out and put them on a paper towel.

Like this is good.

Then add the paneer to your sauce and it's good to go!  Eat with naan.  Hope the pictures weren't too confusing :(.  I'll have to swap them out with some updated ones at some point.


  • 2lbs fresh spinach
  • 1 small onion
  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable/canola oil (and enough for deep frying or pan frying)
  • 1 & 1/5 cup paneer (about a lb?)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper powder
  • 1-1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon green chili paste
  • 3 teaspoons corn meal (not corn starch!)


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