Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Palak Paneer (Sag Paneer, Spinach Paneer)

I learned the organized approach to cooking North Indian dishes from Deviji, a kind Punjabi lady, our neighbor in Pittsburgh, when we were living there. She taught me how to cook my favorites, she insisted that I come and see how she prepares in her kitchen so that I won’t forget. She used to say if you see, you won’t forget, particularly cooking. I think that is true. My entire north Indian cooking is her recipes including the paneer post below. Hope you try them and enjoy as much as we do. Here is one…The famous palak paneer


One big bunch of spinach (fresh green ones)
Paneer ~10 to 15 cubes
One medium sized ripe tomato
Green chillies 5, half onion~ chopped finely into small pieces
Half tsp of garlic-ginger-cilantro paste
One tsp of dhania-jeera (coriander-cumin) powder
Quarter cup cashews
Half tsp of salt

Palak Paneer Ingredients


Spinach and Green Chillies – Wash the spinach, cut or tear them into big pieces. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a wide skillet. First add green chillies to hot oil, then spinach. Saute until the leaves are wilted. Turn off the heat. Wait few minutes to cool. Add them to a blender and also a pinch of salt – blend to smooth paste. Adding green chillies to spinach puree is very important step; it gives punch to bland spinach.

Tomato- Boil tomato in hot water till the skin break down, remove the skin, mash the tomato to a pulp.

Cashews- Roast cashews lightly, make fine powder of them.

Paneer- Lightly saute paneer cubes in one teaspoon of ghee till they are golden brown. (This is optional, you can add paneer cubes just as they are.)

Palak Paneer-Preparation

Now with the curry:

Add one teaspoon of ghee or oil to a wide skillet. When it is hot, fry the onions till translucent. Add ginger-garlic-cilantro paste and dhania-jeera powder, mix them and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.

Now add pureed spinach, tomato and cashew powder along with a pinch of turmeric and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly and add water if needed. Do not dilute the curry too much. It should not spread like flooding river when served on a plate.

Cook it covered on low flame for about 5 to 10 minutes. Just before turning off the heat, add the paneer cubes. Mix them with the spinach (palak). Let simmer for 2 or 3 minutes and then turn off the heat.

Serve the curry hot with chapatis (rotis) or with rice. Also for novelty, you can make a Palak Panner Naanini (Split naan into two layers, apply generous potions of palak paneer in-between. Grill or Oven-broil for few minutes and serve with yogurt raita.) Anyway you prefer, palak paneer is truly a guilt free, satisfying, well balanced delicious dish.

Palal Paneer with Chapati
Palak Paneer with Chapatis ~ Our Meal Today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Paneer,Spinach (Monday June 6, 2005 at 6:20 pm- permalink)
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Delightful Paneer

What you need: Milk, Lime and Cheesecloth

Whole Milk – half gallon

Juice from one lime, about 2 to 3 tbs

Muslin cloth (gangi gudda)

Boil the milk in a thick-bottomed vessel on medium heat, stirring occasionally (sometimes milk stick to the bottom and burns, so take caution). Once the milk starts to boil, reduce the heat and add the limejuice, stirring continuously.

In few minutes, you see small curds like white clouds floating on top. Wait till they get bigger (if they don’t, add some more lime juice and stir) and the whey below gets less milky. This process takes few minutes, so wait at least five minutes. Switch off the heat and let it stand for few more minutes. Then pour the whole thing immediately into a clean muslin or cheese cloth in a sieve, over a sink. Gather the curds and discard the whey.

Milk turning into paneer seperating paneer from whey

Keep the curds in the cloth, tie a knot much above their level and hang it over a kitchen sink. Let the whey drip for half an hour. Now remove the knot, twist the cloth several times to make it tighten, squeeze out any remaining whey, make a tight knot just above the paneer, shaping the paneer into a round ball. Keep it hanging for another 30 minutes.

draining the whey tightening the cloth to squeeze out the remaining whey from paneer

Remove the paneer from the cloth. Now with the all the whey gone, it turns out into a firm ball. Store this in the refrigerator, 2 to 3 hours, for further solidification. After that, you can use the delightful paneer in curries or just plain fried, as you wish.


Try it, if you have not already, this easy to make, pure, rennet free, Paneer~ the Indian cheese.

Paneer Recipes I have blogged so far on Mahanandi:

Palak Paneer ~ Paneer with Spinach
Pudina Paneer ~ Paneer with Fresh Mint
Paneer Jalfrezi ~ Paneer with Green Bell Pepper and Tomato
Kadhi Paneer ~ Paneer with Spicy Yogurt Based Sauce
Matar Paneer ~ Paneer with Fresh Peas of Summer
Hare Chane Paneer ~ Paneer with Fresh Green Garbanzo/Chickpeas
Sarson da Saag ~ Paneer with Baby Mustard Greens and Spinach
Paneer Pad Thai with Bok Choy
Paneer Naanini ~ Naan stuffed with crumbled paneer & spinach curry

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Milk & Products,Paneer (Monday June 6, 2005 at 9:18 am- permalink)
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