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Paalak Paneer (spinach-cottage cheese gravy)

May 4, 2014

Paalak Paneer is another of our favourite side-dishes/subzi.  Very common one but in restaurants I always fear about how good they rinse paalak/spinach!  Prefer therefore savouring this subzi at home rather, because in our kitchen we completely weed out the yellowed, dry leaves from the spinach bunch very carefully and rinse 2-3 times thoroughly to wash away any residual pesticides.

Paalak Panneer is basically a north Indian side-dish but is loved through out India.  Easiest to make at home.  Goes well as subzi with any kind of roti.  Rich and nutritious with all the green leafy spinach and the panneer (cottage cheese).  But the calorie-conscious may substitute panneer with tofu.  Still Panneer is my best bet hahaha!  Who wants to live for 100 years!  So Panneer it is, the irresistible one here.


Paalak (spinach) – 1 bunch

Panneer (cottage cheese) – 200 gms  (can be substituted with ‘Tofu’)

Onion -1

Tomato -1

Garlic – 2-3 pods

Ginger – a slice

Green chili – 1 or 2

Curry powder – 3 tsp (red chili powder)

Dhania powder – 3 tsp (coriander seeds powder)

(alternately I use ‘Madras sambar powder which is a mix of both red chili/curry powder and dhania (coriander seeds) powder 3 tsp in all)

Garam Masala powder – 1 tsp

Turmeric powder a pinch

Fresh Cream – 1 tbsp (optional) – for garnishing

Oil – 1 tbsp

For seasoning: mustard seeds and saunf (fennel seeds) – 1/2 tsp each


Salt to taste




1.  Rinse the palak/spinach thoroughly in water and strain and cut to small pieces.  Keep aside.

2.  Rinse the panneer/cottage cheese slab and cube it to 1 x 1 inch size.

3. Grate the onion, tomato, ginger-garlic and green chili and grind to a fine paste in a blender.

4. Heat a wok and add a tbsp of oil to it.  When it is hot enough, add the panneer cubes in batches and deep fry to golden brown.  Remove and strain/wipe off excess oil with tissue and keep aside.

5. Keep the stove going all the time (do not throw away the used oil but proceed with entire cooking with the same oil which is now rich in aroma from the panneer frying), and now add mustard seeds and the saunf/fennel seeds to the oil and wait for them to crackle.  Add the tomato-onion-ginger-garlic-green chili paste next and stir-fry for a few minutes.

6. Add the rinsed and cut palak/spinach to the blender next and blend to a smooth paste.  If necessary, add water.

7. Pour this green palak paste into the cooking gravy and stir well.  Add the curry powder, dhania powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and salt and keep stirring on low flame.

8. When the rawness of the palak/spinach is gone, add the panneer cubes and let that soak in the rich gravy and cook for a few more minutes.  Keep stirring on low flame with lid closed, time to time.

9. When the gravy thickens to required consistency, switch off the flame.

10. What we have now is rich and yummy Palak Panneer (Spinach-Cottage Cheese gravy), a high-calorie side-dish/subzi.

11.  This goes well with all kinds of rotis/breads as side-dish.

12, Shelf-life is not more than a day as spinach must not be consumed after a day as it decays fast.  Refrigerate the remaining portion immediately on serving and re-heat only when you have to serve next.

13. A dollop of fresh cream can be added at the time of serving that i don’t do as it will make the dish even heavier.  But fresh cream enhances the taste as we see in restaurants.






From → Vegetarian

One Comment
  1. Yummy. I need to get off my backside and make this at home. We often order it when out but now you having me worrying about the rinsed spinach!! Ha!

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