This creamy yet healthy palak paneer curry is super easy to prepare at home. Loaded with all authentic Indian flavors and it goes well with naan or plain basmati rice.
Last year I had published a recipe for one pot palak paneer rice. The inspiration for that recipe came from this creamy palak paneer curry. It took me a while to publish this recipe. But finally, I got a chance to bring it to you all.
Palak: spinach and paneer: Indian cottage cheese. So we can also call it Indian spinach curry.
If you are in love with authentic Indian flavors then you will definitely like this healthy palak paneer curry. Popularly it is also known as saag paneer in India. And you can make it at home very easily.
Moreover, it is a perfect option to consume green leafy spinach.
How to make palak paneer curry
- In a nonstick pan cook spinach until it wilts down. Take it out into a blender jar.
- In the same pan add some oil and cook garlic, ginger, onion, tomato, and cashew nuts. Add them to the wilted spinach. Add some water and puree the spinach and onion-tomato mixture until creamy.
- Then in a frying pan fry some chili powder and turmeric powder in some oil. Add spinach puree and mix well.
- Season with cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala, and salt. Cook the curry for a few minutes.
- Finally, add fresh paneer cubes and serve warm.
- Spinach – Use fresh baby spinach leaves for making this dish. And avoid using stems. However, frozen spinach does not work well for this saag paneer curry.
- Paneer – I usually make paneer at home using reduced-fat milk. Homemade fresh paneer always tastes great. However, you can buy paneer at nearby Indian grocery stores easily.
- Cashew nuts – To give a creamy texture to the dish use crushed raw cashew nuts. This way, you can avoid using dairy cream and make the palak paneer a bit healthier.
- To make this Indian spinach curry more aromatic and flavorful use homemade ground cumin powder and coriander powder. Trust me it makes a lot more difference in the flavors and the taste.
- Do not overcook the curry. It will lose its bright green color from the spinach and darken the color of the dish.
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Restaurant Style Healthy Palak Paneer Curry
- 11 oz baby spinach
- 4-5 oz paneer cut into around ¾″ cube(Indian cottage cheese
- ¼ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
- 2 teaspoon cooking oil divided
- 3-4 whole garlic cloves
- ½" ginger peeled
- 1 medium onion cut into thick pieces
- 1 medium red tomato cut into large pieces
- ¼ cup raw cashews crushed
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- 1 ¼ cup water
- salt to taste
- Heat a large nonstick pan on medium heat. Add two tablespoon of water and then immediately add spinach leaves. Cover the pan with a lid and steam the spinach for 2-3 min.
- Then remove the wilted spinach into a blender jar. Keep it aside.
- Now in the same skillet heat 1 teaspoon cooking oil. Add garlic cloves, ginger pieces, and chopped onion. Cook for 2-3 min or until light golden brown.
- Add tomato pieces, crushed cashew nuts and cook for 3-4 min or until the tomato softens. Once done take out this mixture and add it to the wilted spinach in the blender jar. Also, add fresh cilantro leaves, water and blend everything to make a puree.
- Clean the same skillet (see the note) and heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil on low-medium heat.
- Add turmeric powder and chili powder and fry it for 10-15 seconds. Immediately add spinach puree and mix well.
- Now add coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala and salt to taste. Mix well, cover and cook the mixture for five minutes on low heat.
- Add paneer cubes and turn the heat off. Cover and let it sit for 5 more min. Serve warm.
- Paneer – To lower down the fat content use reduced fat paneer if you can find it in stores. I usually make paneer at home using low-fat milk. You can also saute the paneer to get a light brown crust on them before adding into the spinach curry.
- Add jalapeno or green chilies to the wilted spinach before blending if you want a hot or spicy palak paneer curry.
- Whenever possible use homemade roasted cumin powder and coriander powder. It really gives fresh flavors and aroma to the dish.
- For making this recipe I use the same skillet in every step mentioned in the instructions. After taking out cooked onion and tomato add 2-3 tablespoon of water to the skillet. Let the heat stay on. Hold a kitchen paper towel with a long tong and wipe the skillet. It cleans out the pan very easily and makes it ready for the next step.