Dine with Danika


Easy Dhaba Style Palak Paneer

Cuisine: North Indian
Serve as: Main course

Palak paneer is one of North India’s most popular dish, well for that matter anything that has paneer in it is a hit in India. If you go to Indian restaurants you will probably find 3-4 varieties of paneer on the menu, without doubt paneer is India’s most fancy ‘vegetable’.

This restaurant style spicy Punjabi palak paneer recipe prepares a yummy curry by cooking shallow fried paneer cubes in a healthy spinach gravy, which is sautéed with finely balanced curry spices in aromatic ghee.

Additionally, this recipe uses milk cream to bring in rich creamy texture. Serve this spinach paneer curry with equally delicious garlic naan for a scrumptious meal.

    Prep: 10 minutes
    Cook: 15 minutes
    Total: 25 minutes

    Quantity: Serves 2 people


    • 1 large bunch or 4 cups chopped Spinach (Palak)
    • 3/4 cup (approx. 150 gm) Paneer (cubed into 1/2-inch pieces)
    • 1-2 Green Chillies, seeded and chopped (or to taste)
    • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seeds, optional
    • 1 large Onion, finely chopped (approx. 1/2 cup)
    • 1 teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste (or crushed)
    • 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon Kasuri Methi (dry fenugreek leaves), optional
    • 2 tablespoons Fresh Cream
    • 1/3 cup Water
    • 2 tablespoons Oil + 1 tablespoon Butter
    • Salt to taste

    Preparation method

    1. Clean and wash spinach in water to remove any soil or impurities. To blanch the spinach, boil it in salted water for 2 minutes.
    2. Drain it using a big perforated spoon or a strainer.
    3. Immediately transfer drained spinach into cold water and keep for a minute.
    4. Drain excess water and transfer blanched spinach to the medium size jar of a mixer grinder. Add green chillies and grind until smooth puree. If required, add few tablespoons of water while grinding.
    5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a non-stick pan or kadai over medium flame. Add paneer cubes and shallow fry them until the sides turn light brown. Transfer them to a plate and keep aside. You can remove excess ghee or oil from it by placing them on absorbent kitchen tissue.
    6. Heat remaining 1-tablespoon oil and 1-tablespoon butter together in the same pan over medium flame. Add cumin seeds and saute them for 30 seconds. (If you don’t like cumin seeds, you can avoid it.) Add finely chopped onion and stir fry until it turns translucent. Add ginger-garlic paste and stir fry for 30 seconds.
    7. Add spinach puree and salt. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
    8. Add 1/3 cup water. Mix well and bring it to a boil. Stir occasionally in between.
    9. When gravy starts to boil, add shallow fried paneer cubes and cook for 3-4 minutes.
    10. Add lemon juice, kasuri methi and mix well. Turn off the flame and mix milk cream.
    11. Transfer it to a serving bowl and serve with tandoori roti, kulcha or butter naan.

    Tips and Variations

    • Make best palak paneer with tofu by adding shallow fried tofu cubes. If paneer cubes are not available and you still want to enjoy the goodness of this Punjabi curry, prepare it with only tofu cubes.
    • If you want to have very soft paneer that mixes well with gravy of palak, soak them in hot water for 10 minutes after shallow frying.
    • Add milk cream only after turning off the flame as it may curdle if added before.