Spinach & Paneer Recipe

Yesterday, I wrote about how to make paneer so today I’m going to show a dish using it as the main ingredient. Once again, I turn to Ms. Anjum Anand for inspiration and guidance. I’ve had a similar dish before in restaurants so was eager to try it at home. It is a combination of spinach and paneer in a creamy sauce with garlic, ginger, and spices. I also made a batch of naan to accompany it.

When Erin noticed the paneer recipe yesterday, she pinged me on Twitter to inquire about where I found the time to make these things during the week. I confessed about working from home, so I do have extra time that I would have otherwise sacrificed for a commute.

Last night, I was quite ambitious. I started cooking with the intent of only making the paneer, then I decided to make this spinach dish with it for dinner. Mid-way through I realized how good it would taste with naan, so I started a batch of that as well. I began cooking around 7pm and didn’t finish until 10pm. A late dinner, but I had fun making it :-)

Once you have the paneer ready, this dish comes together quickly. Make sure to have all of the vegetables prepped and ready to go.

Spinach and Paneer
adapted from Indian Food Made Easy by Anjum Anand

2 12 oz. bags fresh baby spinach (approximately)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1-2 green chilies, whole
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ground coriander
1 batch paneer cheese cut into 1″ cubes
1 tsp garam masala
2/3 cup whole milk (or 1/2 cup heavy cream)

Heat a pot of water until boiling. Add spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes until fully wilted. Remove and drain. Blend the spinach until it is a smooth paste. I didn’t do a very good job on this step and therefore my dish didn’t turn out with quite the right consistency. Next time I will make it more smooth.

Heat a pan over medium heat. Add oil and cumin seeds, cook for 30 seconds. Add onion and cook 5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic, ginger, and chillies (I used only one) – cook for an additional minute. The chili adds flavor but didn’t make it spicy.

Add coriander, and salt to taste. Add spinach and stir. Add a few tablespoons of water if necessary to keep the mixture loose but not watery. I used about 1/4 cup water. Boil for 3 minutes.

Add paneer, garam masala, and milk. Stir and cook for a few minutes or until the spinach is creamy. Serve with naan or rice.

Aside from the flaw in not making the spinach smooth enough (which resulted in a not quite creamy consistency), it tasted great. I liked the punch of garlic and ginger in combination with the spinach. A healthy vegetarian meal that was filling but not too heavy. Oh, and the naan worked perfectly to scoop up chunks of paneer slathered in spinach!



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11 comments

  1. I did a search on Palak Paneer to see what it’s supposed to be like if the spinach is a paste :) I’m not big on milk in dishes (uh.. nevermind) but ironically I was thinking if it would be better with coconut milk, haha! :D More chilies for me, please :)

    And to answer your question about what I thought paneer was, of course I thought it was a tofu-like product. Sue me!! I am a Pacific Islander/Oriental (wow, some obsolete terms there) and cheese doesn’t come instinctively to me :P

  2. I have been loving this whole series of Indian cookery Allen. I just made a batch of curry yesterday (up soon). Kep it up and I won’t have to order my Anjum cook books!

  3. Allen this is the kind of recipes I need right now. Hehehehe. I need to lose 15 pounds in 40 days. Florida, here I come! Hehehe

    Cheers!

  4. Oh, wow. I was impressed with your paneer recipe, but this looks like the perfect way to serve it! (I mean, apart from just snacking on it) Allen, I am loving your blog. :)

  5. Does Anjun have a Palak Paneer recipe in her cookbook? If so, can you please please make it and post, or scan the page and email it? Because that’s my favorite :)

    Lovely spinach dish all the same.

  6. I love palak paneer, it’s one of my favorite treats. I came to it kind of late, though; I think that the smooth texture of the spinach used to turn me off. I guess that the texture of your spinach doesn’t seem at all off to me, then! It does look good.

  7. I’m glad you taught me how to make paneer, since I don’t think it would be easy for me to find it here. Plus, I love anything spinach.

  8. I am glad I didn’t see this before I ate dinner tonight…it sure looks more delicious than what I had! MMMMMmmmm…..

  9. Gorgeous photograph! I love paneer, it’s a match made in heaven with cumin and chilli (and of course spinach). Thanks for the recipe!

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