Skip to Content

Palak Paneer Creamy Indian Spinach Curry

Palak paneer is a gloriously spiced vegetarian Indian dish featuring fresh Indian cheese and lots of spinach that cooks in under 30 minutes.

The spinach sauce is generously spiced but far less complex than many Indian curries and it tastes fantastic.

Overhead Indian Palak paneer spinach curry served with naan bread.

Saag Paneer an Indian Spinach Curry.

Palak paneer really is the archetypal Indian spinach curry as far as I am concerned.

Creamy mild fresh Indian “cottage” cheese in a generously spiced rich and thick creamy spinach gravy. Unlike some palak paneer recipes, mine contains no cream in the sauce.

It is a delicious, and for many people an unusual curry.

For instance, you may be more familiar with dishes like my spinach and mushroom curry or chicken saag as Indian spinach recipes, but you gotta give this one a try.

My rich and thick spinach gravy is much more simple than many of my curry recipes.

Green chillies, a single tomato onion and garlic are joined by curry leaves, fenugreek, garam masala, coriander and turmeric… oh yes and spinach of course. Lots and lots of spinach!

The paneer is the perfect mild and creamy vehicle to contrast this iron rich and bold sauce.

And don’t worry if you can’t find paneer in your local store because it is easy to make at home.

Homemade paneer needs two ingredients, milk or cream and vinegar, I make mine in an Instant Pot. It also gets used in my matar paneer recipe.

Close up Indian palak paneer spinach curry served with naan bread.

Frequently Asked Questions.

What is the difference between saag and palak?

Palak explicitly refers to spinach whereas saag means greens, which could mean spinach but not necessarily.

As an example, I make my saag aloo recipe with chard. So you could easily refer to this dish as a saag paneer curry.

I find some spinach dishes bitter, what am I doing wrong?

Bitterness can be an issue when cooking with spinach. It is a sensation that is caused by oxalic acid and it becomes more pronounced the longer the spinach is cooked.

I have seen people advise adding sugar which is a combination I am not keen on. The first thing to do is keep the cooking of the spinach to an absolute minimum.

The next step is to get the amount of salt right, ensure that you taste, and add more salt if needed after the gravy has been pureed.

Can I make this sauce in advance?

For me no, it is a dish that is best served immediately.

Leaving the sauce to cool and reheat will increase the cooking time. As a result, it will both dull the beautiful colour of a classic palak paneer and also increase the bitter/metallic flavour in the dish.

Indian palak paneer spinach curry served with naan bread.

Serving Suggestions

That thick and rich palak paneer gravy just cries out for flat bread, my preference is to add my tandoori naan bread, but it works just as well with a chapati or two.

Despite being a palak paneer without cream recipe I do like to add a swirl of cream for presentation. I also like to add really thinly sliced red onion, the colour is a great contrast but the flavour works wonderfully as well.

On occasion I also like to add kachumber salad on the side!

If you want to make the dish more substantial, palak paneer is awesome with rice whether plainly boiled or pilau rice.

If you want something completely out of the norm serve this with my roast Bombay potatoes. That rich and thick palak paneer sauce is stunning with potatoes!

Indian palak paneer spinach curry served with poppy seed naan bread.
Yield: 2 Servings

Palak Paneer Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

A palak paneer is a classic mild vegetarian curry from Northern India that features spinach and often homemade, paneer cheese.

Ingredients

  • 250g (9oz) Paneer
  • 350g (9-10 loosely packed cups) Baby Spinach
  • 75g (½ Cup) Onion
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 30g (Thumb Sized Piece) Ginger
  • 1 Medium Tomato
  • 6 Curry Leaves
  • 2 Green Chilli Peppers
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Fenugreek
  • 1 Tsp Turmeric
  • 1 Tsp Ground Coriander
  • ½ Tsp Garam Masala
  • ½ Tsp Salt (Add more if you want)
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • Lemon Juice to taste

Instructions

  1. Peel the onion, garlic and ginger and roughly chop them.
  2. Remove the stem from the green chilli and give it a rough chop.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat.
  4. Add the onion, garlic and ginger along with the chillies and curry leaves and fry for 5-7 minutes or until the onions soften and start to colour stirring occasionally.
  5. Cut the tomato into a 1cm dice.
  6. Chop the paneer into a 2-2.5cm dice.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the tomato, garam masala, ground coriander, turmeric and fenugreek and stir for 1 minute.
  8. Pour in the water and salt, then cook for 5 minutes.
  9. Pack in the spinach add a lid and cook until the spinach has completely wilted (2-3 minutes).
  10. Transfer the spinach to a blender and blend to form a smooth gravy adding more water if required.
  11. Return the spinach gravy to the pan and have a taste adding more salt if required.
  12. Drop in the diced paneer and reheat gently for 3-4 minutes.
  13. Squeeze in some fresh lemon juice to your taste.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 595Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 1681mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 8gSugar: 10gProtein: 32g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Chris Mc.

Wednesday 4th of August 2021

Hi there, great recipe. You forgot to mention how much curry leaves to add. Would you be able to let me know? I'm itching to make it again!

Chris Mc.

Thursday 5th of August 2021

@Brian Jones, Thank you very much! Delicious recipe and planning on making it again within a day or two. Thank you!

Brian Jones

Thursday 5th of August 2021

Hi Chris... Sorry about the delay in the response, you caught me mid international move, I have updated the recipe bt the answer is 6 :)

Brian

Skip to Recipe