What is Palak Paneer?
Palak Paneer is a spinach curry with paneer cheese. It is flavored with spices and it seems every family has their own recipe, as is the norm with Indian food. This vegetarian dish probably originated in Northern India and is especially common in the Punjabi region. It is a simple and super healthy dish to make.
What is the difference between Palak Paneer and Saag Paneer?
This is where it gets a little fun, or fuzzy, whichever term you prefer. Palak paneer is only made with spinach as the base and is made with paneer cheese. This is usually served over rice. Saag is a dish of mixed greens, made almost identical to Palak, same methods, spices etc, but never has paneer cheese AND it is served with Indian bread, not rice.
It is commonly believed that ‘Saag Paneer’ is an invention in the US or some other country other than India. Probably a chef that was getting creative or a mis-interpretation of Indian cuisine. That’s the fuzzy part, nobody seems to know. If you heard of a different version of the story, please leave a comment. I would LOVE to hear more!
It all started with paneer.
Does this ever happen to you?
You are being the obedient shopper at the market, dutifully going through your shopping list, only getting things on your list when suddenly an item jumps in your cart. It happens to me a lot! This time it was paneer cheese. I had no idea how it got there or what I was going to do with it but I didn’t want to hurt its feelings so I graciously took it home.
Then I googled ‘paneer’ on the World wide of web.
Palak Paneer filled my search results and that’s how I came to make Palak Paneer.
This recipe is a combination of many different recipes that I found in my cookbooks and on Youtube. Youtube is the official research medium of this blog. I get a lot of inspiration for Indian cooking from Chetna and Manjula. They are my favorites! Do you have a favorite Indian Youtube channel? Let me know, I spend a good deal of my life on YT:)
This will be perfect with Indian Naan bread, click here for the recipe!
Enjoy and let me know how yours turns out!
A super healthy and easy vegetarian curry with spinach and paneer cheese.
- 16 oz fresh spinach, may use frozen
- 1-3 chopped serrano chillies
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 Tbs fresh ginger
- 4 Tbs oil
- 1 block of paneer cheese, about 12-16 oz, sliced thick
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp chile powder
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground fennel
- 1 can lite coconut milk
- 1 tsp salt or more to taste
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- Add the first 4 ingredients to a food processor, add enough water to make the mixture combine. Process until you get a chunky but chopped mixture, set aside.
- In a large frying pan or dutch oven, fry the paneer in 2 Tbs oil until brown, flip over. Cook the other side until brown, set aside.
- In the same frying pan or dutch oven, on medium heat add oil and onions and fry until soft and translucent.
- Add the spices, cook for one minute stirring constantly.
- Add the spinach mixture, stir and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 5-10 more minutes on medium heat until all is hot and well cooked. The spinach with be soft and not raw.
- Serve over rice.