There are dozens of different recipes for Palak Paneer and they all have on thing in common… They’re all based on a creamy pureed spinach, paneer cheese, and a delicious blend of herbs and spices.
The dish originates from North India, and it’s a healthy, vibrant recipe that’s easy to make at home.
Palak Paneer is very low in cholesterol and high in dietary fibers, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium, iron, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, and other irreplaceable nutrients. Combined with recognizable Indian spices, this simple recipe will become one you want to make again and again! Serve with fragrant basmati rice or warm bread for dipping.
Ingredients for a Palak Paneer
- 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
- 1 cup paneer (homemade cheese), cut into cubes
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 medium-sized tomato, chopped
- 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
- 2 green chili peppers, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp cloves
- 4 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon, optional
How to Make a Palak Paneer
- Wash the spinach thoroughly under cold running water. Drain in a large colander and squeeze with your hands. Using a sharp cutting knife, finely chop the spinach and place in a deep pot.
- Pour enough water to cover and bring it to a boil. Briefly cook, for 2 minutes and remove from the heat. Drain and immediately immerse spinach in ice cold water. This little trick will give the spinach a vibrant green color. Let it stand for 2 minutes and drain again.
- Transfer to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Set aside.
- Preheat the oil in a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Add one tablespoon of cumin seeds and stir-fry for one minute. Add finely chopped onions and garlic. Continue to cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Now, add spices – chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt, cloves, and the remaining cumin seeds. Give it a good stir and cook for two more minutes.
- Finally, add sour cream, tomatoes, and green chili. Stir well and cook for 3 more minutes. Pour in the spinach and reduce the heat to minimum. Cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the heat and stir in cubed paneer. Drizzle with lemon juice and serve.
Ingredients for homemade Paneer
- 8 cups whole milk
- 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ½ tsp salt
How to Make a Homemade Paneer
- Heat up the milk in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Bring the milk just bellow the boil. Stir the milk occasionally to prevent from scalding. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Cover with the lid and let it stand for about 10-15 minutes.
- Adding acid to the milk will make the process of separation of the curds from the whey. The milk should look yellow and watery.
- Make sure you are not using UHT (ultra-high temperature) pasteurized milk, nonfat milk, or skim milk. These types of milk will not separate easily.
- Place a large strainer over a large bowl. Line it with cheesecloth and carefully strain the curds, collecting the whey in the bowl. Squeeze the cloth to remove the excess whey.
- Transfer the cloth with curds onto a large plate. Sprinkle the curds with salt and form the desired shape. Place another plate on top and press with a heavy weight.
- Refrigerate up to 1 hour before using.