Palak paneer is a lightly spiced Indian dish made with fresh spinach and fried paneer cheese cubes. Cherry tomatoes give it a bit of sweet lightness.
Palak Paneer

So, I did a thing.

I bought a new Indian food cookbook!!! (It’s this one, if inquiring minds want to know.) I basically just snuck it into one of our massive Amazon purchases without anyone noticing and now I cantstopwontstop cooking Indian meals all day.

And now my husband has definitely noticed because I spend all my free time paging through it and sleep with it under my pillow for safekeeping (those toddler hands are cookbook-ripping TROUBLE, yo).

He was like, “don’t you think you have enough Indian food cookbooks?!?!”

My reply:


Palak Paneer

You’re still reading, so you must agree.

I knew y’all would take my side on this one.

Palak Paneer

My belly has a bit of a soft spot for paneer (uh, literally), so you can understand why the first recipe I had to share was for this palak paneer! It’s kind of like its cousin, saag paneer, but less creamy, more fresh, and, at least in this incarnation, filled with sweet cherry tomato juice in each bite.

This version is very lightly spicy to account for toddler tastebuds but feel free to add more (or less!) chili powder, to your discretion.

I served it with homemade naan, also from the book, but it would also be great over rice if that’s more your style.


Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer
Palak paneer is a lightly spiced Indian dish made with fresh spinach and fried paneer cheese cubes. Cherry tomatoes give it a bit of sweet lightness.
Yield: 4 servings
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 lb paneer, cut into ¾-inch cubes
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 medium onions, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 14 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1 lb baby spinach
  1. Place 3 tbsp canola oil in a large wok or nonstick skillet with a lid on high heat. Put the paneer cubes in the pan, lightly season with salt, and fry them, turning often, until golden on each side. Remove the paneer to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving as much of the oil as possible in the pan.
  2. Turn down the heat to medium and add the onions. Fry them for 8-10 minutes, or until golden. Add the ginger, garlic, and pepper to the pan. Stir to combine, then add in the cherry tomatoes and tomato paste.
  3. Place the lid on the pan and allow the tomatoes to cook for 6-8 minutes, until they soften and start to break down. Stir in the coriander, cumin, turmeric, chili powder, and 1¼ tsp of salt.
  4. Add the paneer back to the pan and stir until it is coated with the spices. Add the spinach in handfuls, wilting down one handful before you add the next and stirring to combine with the sauce.
  5. Once all of the spinach has wilted, remove from the heat and serve with naan.
Recipe from Made In India


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10 Responses to Palak Paneer

  1. Pam says:

    Totally on your side… never too many cookbooks! I am loving everything about this palak paneer! yum!

  2. Carol says:

    Sounds yummy, but where do you buy the paneer?

  3. anna says:

    What’s your favorite Indian cookbook for those wanting to expand their collection?

  4. Kate says:

    I love all paneer dishes

  5. tamarque says:

    For those interested:

    You can make your own paneer very simply. All that is needed is good milk, acid such as vinegar or lemon juice and cheesecloth. The milk is heated to just before boiling. With heat off or on very low add about 1Tbs vinegar to the quart of milk and watch it curdle. When finished, scoop out the curds and make a hanging ‘basket’ with the curds to let drain. Place cheese on a plate still wrapped in the cheesecloth and put a weight on it. After a very short time (check to your taste) the cheese is ready. It can be cut into cubes and put in the refrig. Many recipes online for doing this with minor variations for timing. Salt or other herbs can be mixed in before you form the curds into a block. Lots of fun to do and with kids.

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