Palak Paneer – Pan-seared Paneer is bathed in a smooth and luscious spinach sauce infused with Indian spices. An easy authentic recipe, perfect for weeknight dinners. This is an adaptable recipe, perfect for mixed households, see notes.
In a large skillet, (a non-stick works great here) heat a few tablespoons oil or ghee and season the oil generously with salt and pepper. Pan-sear the paneer until golden and crispy, and set it aside, covered with foil.
Wipe out the skillet, heat 3 tablespoons ghee over medium heat. Add onion, ginger, garlic and chilies, and sauté until deeply golden and fragrant, stirring often, about 15 minutes, taking your time here. Add the spices ( coriander, cumin, garam masala and mustard seeds) and sauté 2-3 more minutes. Add the frozen spinach and cup of water, lower heat and simmer uncovered until the spinach is just thawed.
Place the spinach mixture in a blender, topping with the yogurt and cashews. Add the salt and sugar. Blend well, until silky smooth. If mixture is too dry to blend, add just enough water to get the motor going. Taste, and adjust heat by adding a little cayenne if you want more of a kick. This will seem slightly salty at first but once you add the paneer, it will soak up the salt.
Place the spinach sauce back on the stove uncovered, on med- low heat. ( Covering it will lose the lovely vibrant color ). Warm it up slowly, stirring often so it doesn’t burn. Add the pan-seared paneer and continue cooking until the paneer is warmed through.
Make the flavorful spinach sauce and serve it over anything you like- perfect for mixed households where some want vegan, some want meat. It is tasty over roasted cauliflower, pan seared chicken or fish, tofu, roasted veggies, etc. Get creative!
If using fresh spinach, wilt it separately ( it may too much to manage in the onion pan) and add it to the onion garlic mixture. You need about 1 ½ -2 cups wilted.
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