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Indian Creamy Spinach with Cheese (Palak Paneer)

Indian Creamy Spinach with Cheese (Palak Paneer)

Because it doesn’t melt and its texture is chewy, paneer is a perfect substitute for meat in a lot of Indian dishes. (Vegan or vegetarian dishes abound in India for both economic and religious reasons.) Paneer’s mild flavor blends well with all kinds of vegetable-based sauces. Palak Paneer—the classic creamy Indian spinach dish studded with cubes of the cheese—is just one example of how paneer can transform a dish into a meal, instantly.
Servings 2


  • 2 bunches spinach leaves
  • 1 - 2 jalapeños optional
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions grated
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
  • 2 medium tomatoes diced finely
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder as per taste
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup cubed paneer


  • 1 tablespoon clarified butter or plain butter
  • 1 tablespoon julienne ginger
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream


  • Wash spinach leaves. Blanch by dipping leaves into boiling water for one minute, then plunging them into a large bowl of cold water. In a food processor, coarsely puree the spinach, adding jalapeños if you prefer spice. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in a wok. Add onions, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, and cardamom pods; fry until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and fry for 2 minutes longer.
  • Add tomatoes, turmeric, red chili powder and yogurt and cook 10 minutes Add salt to taste. Add the spinach paste and paneer and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes.
  • TO GARNISH: Heat butter in a small saucepot and add ginger. Stir until fragrant, then remove from heat and add cream. Garnish Palak Paneer with ginger mixture. Serve hot.
  • Serve with roti, naan, or steamed basmati rice.