How To Make The Greenest Palak Paneer

1 Mar

What do you do to get this lovely lush color in your palak paneer, I am asked.

I’ll let out my secret today.

As they tell you in Kung Fu Panda, the secret of the secret ingredient is that there is no secret ingredient. Which means that my palak paneer looks that way not because of what I add to it, but because of what I do not add to it.

Cut out the riddle talk, did you say? OK OK. Follow this recipe to recreate that verdant splendor in your own kitchen.

The Greenest Palak Paneer

You Need:

  • Spinach – 2 large bunches
  • Green chilies – 2
  • Garlic – 4 fat cloves, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Cream – 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – 2 teaspoons
  • A large bowl of chilled water
  • Paneer – 250gms, cubed

How To Make Palak Paneer:

Spinach, Garlic Remove stems and wash the spinach thoroughly, till the water it is dipped into remains clean.

Bring a large pan of salted water to a running boil. Dip the spinach leaves into the pan and let it simmer for 3 minutes uncovered. You will see the green of the spinach deepen. Switch off the heat, let it stand for 2 more minutes. It is important to boil and let it stand uncovered, and to follow the timing exactly.

Strain the spinach using a large sieve and turn it immediately over into the bowl of chilled water. Watch the color pop! If you don’t feel like clapping your hands at this stage, you have a heart of stone.

Spinach in Cold Bath

Slit the green chilies and add it along with the spinach into a blender. Pulse it coarse. Since the leaves are boiled, they puree very quickly.  If you want the texture a little thicker (that’s how I like it), blend for a couple of seconds only.

Spinach in Blender

Heat the oil in a kadhai/skillet. Add cumin seeds. When they start to crackle, add the chopped garlic.

Palak Paneer: Spinach and Indian CheeseAs soon as the garlic turns brown, tip in the spinach gravy mix. Add a dash of salt. Remember that spinach has its own natural salt so the dish needs relatively little top-up.

When the gravy comes to a boil, add the paneer and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Stir a couple of times – very gently, you don’t want the paneer to crumble.

Just before you switch off the heat, add the lemon juice and cream. Stir.

The Greenest Palak Paneer: Spinach and Indian Cheese

Serve piping hot with chapatis/rice and raita.


Did you notice that I use ABSOLUTELY no dry spices in my palak paneer?

Take my word for it. Just this once, keep the onions and the dhania-lalmirch powders far far away. Do not suffocate your spinach with spices – let it reign supreme and weave its own magic.

24 Responses to “How To Make The Greenest Palak Paneer”

  1. Neetu October 15, 2011 at 2:06 PM #

    Absolutely love your way of expression. Good detailed recipes,am still going through your site once I finish I’ll definitely be back with my request list of recipes. :-).

    Keep up the good work.

    • S October 15, 2011 at 3:14 PM #

      Thank you Neetu!

  2. Vidya Nayak December 6, 2011 at 8:40 AM #

    Made it! And did not digress a bit.Yummy and sooo green. Thank you very much, Steaming Pot.Going to try everything you’ve shared bit by bit!

    • S December 7, 2011 at 10:15 PM #

      It’s so good to hear you liked the result, Vidya.

  3. Jhanani Mallikarjunan March 30, 2012 at 7:14 PM #

    I made this recepie & it turned out soooo GOOD :) Me & my husband totally love it. No doubt it will be in my menu when i have guests over… :)

    • S March 30, 2012 at 9:18 PM #

      Great to know that Jhanani.

  4. afracooking January 3, 2013 at 1:53 AM #

    I have only tried a few times to make spinach paneer, but I have never managed to get it as green as yours. I must try your method!! Thank you for sharing!

    • S January 3, 2013 at 8:19 AM #

      You’re welcome afracooking. I look forward to seeing a picture of your spinach paneer with my method :)

  5. Jag April 26, 2014 at 3:47 PM #

    Hi there, just tried this at home, turned out to be better than restaurant quality. I have bookmarked your site,please continue to post such awesome recipes. Do you have any good recipes that involve egg?

    Thanks so much for sharing !



    • S April 27, 2014 at 1:31 PM #

      Thanks Jagdish! I don’t post recipes with egg, but you will find many recipes using others vegetables, milk products, etc. Do browse through the ingredients-wise recipe links on the sidebar, or the Recipe Gallery with Pictures. Happy cooking!

  6. namita May 5, 2014 at 9:16 PM #

    I made this recepie & it turned out soooo GOOD :) and sooo green, exactly the way what my husband wants.. thanks a lot

    • S August 20, 2014 at 10:12 AM #

      Thank you Namita!

  7. preeti August 9, 2014 at 9:43 PM #

    Hi Netetu. Thanks for the recipe. Does’nt the palak lose its nutrition in the boiling water and then in the cild water. Would you know how much if any nutrients are lost in the process.

    • S August 20, 2014 at 10:12 AM #

      Hi Preeti. Any form of cooking tends to cause a loss of nutrients. But you can do stuff to limit that loss – e.g. don’t throw away the spinach-water: knead atta with it, use it as stock in curries, drink it up as clear soup.

      Also, the addition of lemon juice in the end promotes iron absorption.

  8. Dominic March 18, 2015 at 8:13 PM #

    I ain’t even a cook but just wanted to know how to keep the green. Forget the green .. it left me laughing… Fantastic writing skills. Keep it up :).

    • S March 19, 2015 at 12:10 AM #

      Hey Dominic. Thank you ;-)

  9. Maneesha Maitra May 19, 2015 at 9:11 AM #

    I dont have garlic. So can i add ginger in place of garlic? If yes then howmuch?

    • S May 19, 2015 at 11:09 AM #

      Hi Maneesha. I wouldn’t use ginger as a substitute for garlic, their tastes are quite different. Garlic is an important ingredient in this recipe. If I had to cook spinach without garlic, I’d instead make something like aloo palak or spinach raita.

  10. Deepa June 30, 2015 at 8:30 PM #

    Wow! Enjoyed reading..great way to explain what needs to be explained…I am going to make this right away…and I have this hunch…it would come out nice…thanks for sharing this recipe.

  11. Paru January 4, 2017 at 4:51 AM #

    It came out awesome just the way you described. Thanks so much for this easy recipe!

    • S January 4, 2017 at 5:38 AM #

      Great! Thanks for the feedback :-)

  12. Ramya Arun June 6, 2017 at 4:54 PM #

    Made this today. Brilliant colour and and awesome taste. Thank you

    • S June 6, 2017 at 9:10 PM #

      Happy to hear that!

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