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palak paneer in traditional indian serving kadai, with homemade chapatis, and extra pan fried paneer cubes on the side

Healthy Palak Paneer Recipe

step by step recipe for making healthy home-style palak paneer - with tips to store it, re-purpose it, and make it vegan friendly
Course Indian Curries, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, North Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 206kcal


For Palak Tomato Prep

  • 10 oz palak leaves
  • 2 tomatoes mid size
  • 1 cup water for pressure cooking

For Palak Paneer Curry

  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 2 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 green chilli slit
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 250 gms paneer cubed



  • Pressure cook palak leaves and tomatoes (with a little bit of the stem side portion of the tomatoes chopped off) with 1 cup water for 1 whistle. Let it cool.
  • Once cooled down, discard the peel of the tomato (which should come off easily at this point), and set the boiled palak & tomato, along with the water, aside.

Making Palak Paneer

  • In a pan, heat up a little oil, add in the cumin seeds, and saute for 1-2 minutes, till the cumin seeds start crackling.
  • Then add the chopped ginger, garlic, and the slit green chilli, and saute for 3-5 minutes, till the ginger and garlic start getting lightly roasted, turning light red in color.
  • Next add in the chopped onions and salt, and saute till the onions get well roasted and turn light brown.
  • Then turn off the gas, and let the roast cool down a bit.
  • Once the roast has cooled down to about room temperature, grind it in a mixie, along with the boiled palak, tomato, and retained broth set aside earlier (which should also have cooled down to about room temperature by now), till it forms a smooth paste.
  • Pour the paste back in the same pan used earlier, add in the paneer cubes, and cover and cook on medium low flame for 3-5 minutes, or until you see a light boil. Then turn off the heat.
  • Serve hot with roti / naan.


  1. Try to always choose fresh palak leaves that are tender and bright green, and do not use the stem, as it can make the curry taste bitter and metallic.
  2. You can blanch the palak and tomato separately instead of pressure cooking them. This will help retain the vibrant green color of the palak leaves much better. But there is no noticeable difference in taste, so I usually just pressure cook palak and tomato together to save time, energy, and extra utensils.
  3. I have never used frozen spinach, but you can use it in a pinch. Though I highly recommend using fresh spinach leaves whenever possible.
  4. You can use ginger garlic paste instead of chopped ginger and garlic.
  5. Homemade paneer is the best. But if you are using store bought paneer, which is usually more harder, especially after refrigeration (Haldiram being the only exception I tried) - you can soak it in hot water for 5 minutes to soften it. Though remember to remove it after 5 minutes, else it can disintegrate.
  6. Based on your preference - you can pan fry / deep fry / roast paneer cubes in the oven, or simply put the paneer as is in the palak curry.
For restaurant style palak paneer: you can add roasted cashew paste for rich, creamy, nutty flavor, or garnish with heavy cream, or even use the dhungar method to infuse a smoky flavor in the dish.
For vegan friendly palak paneer: you can replace paneer with tofu, and heavy cream with coconut cream or cashew cream.
For making ahead for parties: you can make and store palak paneer curry in the refrigerator in airtight glass containers. Just thin out the curry, and add cream and paneer on the day of the party.
For repurposing palak paneer: you can add the curry in the dough while making rotis to make palak paneer paratha. Or palak paneer quesadillas, using the same concept, for a different cuisine.

Please note: The nutrition values are best estimates provided as a courtesy. The exact values can vary depending on the exact ingredients or brands used. If you rely on them for your specific diet and/or health issues, please consult a registered dietician or nutritionist.


Calories: 206kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 468mg | Potassium: 454mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 4772IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 261mg | Iron: 2mg