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Spinach and paneer curry (palak paneer)

A simple vegetarian curry recipe for restaurant style palak paneer.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6
Author: tweaked from Vah Chef

Ingredients

  • 1 pack 250-350g frozen spinach
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 200-300 g paneer cut into thick slices
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 cloves garlic finely diced
  • 1 medium brown onion finely diced
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste equal parts ginger and garlic, blended or crushed in a mortar and pestle
  • 1 medium tomato diced
  • ¼ tsp ground tumeric
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder cardamom, clove and cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp fenugreek leaves
  • ½ green chilli halved and sliced (optional)
  • 100 ml cream or 30g butter optional

Instructions

  • Blend the frozen spinach. If you don’t have a particularly good blender, allowing the spinach to defrost first will make it easier to blend.
  • In a large frypan, heat half the oil and fry the slices of paneer on both sides until golden brown. I find it easier to fry whole slices of paneer, then cut them into dice – it saves a lot of time individually turning each cube. Remove paneer from saucepan and cut into large dice.
  • Using the same frypan over medium heat, add remaining oil and fry cumin seeds until aromatic.
  • Add garlic, onion and a generous pinch of salt and cook until the onions are soft and turning golden brown at the edges – at least 10 minutes, stirring often so they don’t burn.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste and cook until the raw smell disappears.
  • Add turmeric and stir.
  • Add chopped tomato and cook until the tomatoes are very soft and jammy – at least 5-7 minutes. You’ll notice water come out of the tomatoes at first, and they will eventually cook down – you can add a splash of water if it’s getting too dry.
  • Add garam masala powder, cumin, coriander and chilli powder and cook for 20 seconds, taking care to ensure that the curry powders do not burn.
  • Add fenugreek leaves by rubbing between your palms to crush.
  • Add chopped green chillies, if using.
  • Add blended spinach and cook until the spinach darkens a little, but is still a deep green – be careful not to overcook the spinach. (Frozen spinach will need to be cooked for longer as it’s raw, whereas fresh spinach is usually blanched before blending). Taste and season with extra salt as needed.
  • Add paneer and stir through to warm.
  • Finish with cream or butter, if using.

Notes

If using fresh spinach, you’ll need quite a lot of it (I normally use 2 bunches). Wash the spinach thoroughly to remove dirt before using. Bring a pot of water to the boil, and have a large bowl of cold water ready to plunge the spinach into to stop it cooking. When the water comes to the boil, add the spinach and allow to cook briefly – only until it turns bright green. Use tongs to remove the spinach and place straight into the bowl of cold water. Drain in a colander, then blend into a fine puree.