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Palak Paneer - Global Indian Favorite

No matter where we go, we are never too bored of our lip-smacking baingan ka bharta, dal makhani or palak paneer. But I wasn’t aware that South Africans love our Indian food just as much. I guess Indian food is so popular because it tastes really good and is so flavorful.

Just the other day, a Dutch decent South African friend of mine asked me to show her how to make palak paneer. Apparently, Jurie loved this dish when our families went out for a meal to ‘Swad’ an elegant Indian restaurant located at Melrose Square.

She wanted to cook some Indian food for her visiting sister, who lives in Australia and a regular Indian food eater herself.

We decided to meet at my place and we cooked the curry and some rotis.

Palak Paneer is an easy north Indian curry for a first timer. A delicious combination of two utterly bland ingredients – spinach and cottage cheese (paneer) cooked in a moderately spiced onion and tomato sauce.  

The smooth pureed spinach & cottage cheese cubes just melted in our mouths. The result was mouth-watering!

Unlike the restaurant version, where they had added lot of cream to the curry, I preferred to stick with a non creamy, low calorie, home-made version.

We had a great time and Jurie left with a promise to teach me some Dutch baking recipes.


Cottage cheese (Paneer) 250 gms
Spinach 2 big bunches
Onions 1 (large sized, finely chopped)
Tomatoes 3(medium sized, pureed)
Green chillis 2 (slit length wise)
Ginger (2 inches, grated)
Garlic (3-4 pods, finely chopped)
Red chilli powder 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder 1 teaspoon
Cumin powder 1 teaspoon
Aamchur powder ½ teaspoon
Canola oil 1 tablespoon


Boil spinach leaves in hot water for five minutes and puree it in a food processor. Keep the puree aside.

On a flat non- stick pan, lay the cheese cubes and roast them until the cubes have a golden brown crust on them. There is no need to add oil as the cheese itself has fat in it that helps in roasting.

On a medium heat, heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add ginger, garlic and green chillies. Saute for two minutes.

Add the onions and saute till light brown.

Slow down the heat and add all the dry spices – chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and aamchur powder. (You can even remove the pan from the heat while adding the dry spices as they tend to burn easily.)

Add the tomato puree and salt. Give a quick stir and let it cook for four to five minutes on medium heat.
Once the oil starts appearing on the corners, add the spinach puree and give a good stir. Further cook the curry for five to six minutes.

Add the roasted cheese cubes and combine. Cook covered on low heat for two minutes. 

Note: If you feel like adding cream to the curry, you can add it at this stage or even when the curry is at room temperature.

This curry is well enjoyed with roti or steamed rice.


  1. Looks delicious of fav indeed ...

  2. Soon we can expect Dutch baking recipes in your blog :)

  3. Love this dish always but I have never tried adding coriander and amchoor powders. Will try next time.

  4. Love this dish always but I never tried adding coriander and amchoor powders.Will try it next time.

  5. Wow yummy recipe...Love the spread,Pass the plate pls.

  6. You will not believe I just made it too. I was actually editing my post getting ready to publish it , now I will post it later :)

    Love it n looks very very delicious :)
    US Masala

  7. I envy "A". Wish I had some like u Vandya :P Looks yummy anyways. treat me.

  8. Thanks everyone for such generous comments.

    Pd, don't be envious because 'A' gets to eat some of the failed recipes as well. You are always welcome to my place and I'm sure 'V' is a great cook herself.

    Aipi, please post your palak paneer recipe on your blog. It would be great to see your version.

    Sundar, even I'm excited to learn something new.

  9. Indeed global Indian favorite .. really haven't heard anyone saying they don't like it :)
    Glad to find your blog from a friend's blog.

  10. This is another one of my fav recipes :D I love palak paneer. Yours looks so delicious.. :)

  11. hey..guess what?? this is one dish i make often...cos its super easy to make...barely takes any time...and super tasty...!!! I'll try out ur version soon....m sure ur version is like 10 time better than mine..:)

  12. This is one of my fav Indian dishes! In fact I have paneer ready to make this all the time!


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