Palak paneer, spiced spinach with Indian cottage cheese recipe

By Meena Pathak and Sunil Menon

  1. Serves 4 as a starter
  2. Ready in 35 minutes
  3. Rating

This Indian recipe for Palak paneer, or spiced spinach with Indian cottage cheese, makes a wonderful starter, especially for vegetarians.

tried and tested
Palak paneer, spiced spinach with Indian cottage cheese


  1. 400g fresh spinach leaves
  2. 2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra oil for deep frying
  3. 400g paneer cheese, diced into 2.5cm cubes
  4. 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  5. 3 tomatoes, diced
  6. 4cm piece fresh ginger, grated
  7. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  8. 1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped
  9. 1 tsp Patak’s Balti Curry Paste
  10. 1 tsp garam masala
  11. 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander


  1. 1. Put the spinach in a colander. Pour over boiling water to wilt the leaves. Drain and refresh in cold water. Drain well and purée in a food processor.
  2. 2. Heat oil for deep frying in a heavy-based pan to 190°C or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds. Deep fry the paneer for 2-3 minutes, until brown on the edges (use a metal spoon to stop it sticking to the pan). Set aside on kitchen paper to drain.
  3. 3. In another saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over a medium heat and add the cumin seeds. When they crackle, add the tomatoes, ginger, garlic, green chilli and balti paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add the spinach and stir well. Bring to a simmer, then mix in the paneer.
  4. 4. Put in a serving dish and sprinkle with the garam masala and coriander. Serve with chapattis.


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