Palak paneer recipe | restaurant-style palak paneer recipe at home

Palak paneer recipe or how to make restaurant-style palak paneer recipe at home with step by step pictures. When Indian cottage cheese is cooked in a gravy of creamy spinach puree is called palak paneer. As palak is the “English” meaning of spinach and panner is the “Hindi” name of indian cottage cheese, so we may describe it as Indian spinach cottage cheese curry too. If we talk about palak paneer, it’s a very simple North Indian dish that is healthy and delicious at the same time and it perfectly goes with roti. Though paratha, naan, or even rice also not bad accompaniment with palak paneer.

Do you feel something is missing in your homemade palak panner and it doesn’t like the restaurant one? So today we will learn how to make palak paneer recipe at home with the same restaurant-style taste and my step by step pictures will help you to do that. Just follow few instructions of mine and you will be an expert in making the same restaurant-style recipe at home with some easily available ingredients.

So let’s come to the point, what kind of trick you’ll use to present this simple recipe of palak panner into so scrumptious, like restaurant one. So first, you must use only palak’s leaf for creamy paste, butter, garam masala and other whole spices for good flavor and taste, fresh cream for balancing the tanginess of tomato and lemon juice and lastly hing for good digestion. Though the addition of hing is my own addition to keep us fit after having such rich and heavy dishes at home. Generally, I make it at dinner, but you can enjoy this delicious palak recipe at lunch too with roti, paratha, naan even plain rice or pulao is also not a bad option.

Palak paneer is basically a veg recipe of north indian cuisine, though it is similarly popular in Punjabi cuisine too. But both of them prepare this same recipe with their own style. Like north indian people are more health-conscious so they make it with less masala and oil whereas Punjabi people use more butter and spices in it. So if you are health conscious then must go with north indian version and if you only concentrate on its taste then I must say the Punjabi style will suites you best.

But I should inform you something about the Punjabi recipes before you taste it from their cuisine. As you know south Indian people use curry leaves in their all dishes for good flavor, the same way Punjabi people use Kasuri methi in each of their recipes, and this palak paneer is also not out of it. They use Kasuri methi as Tarka which adds flavor in it. So if you have no problem with that then you must go for it or just skip it like me.

So you may easily follow my recipe which follows both healthy and tasty theory as I serve it for my kid too. Actually my son is my inspiration for making this Palak paneer recipe. Because he loves the hotel’s food and always asks for it. But as we know the outside food is little spicy and not hygienic like homemade food. So to satisfy his craving I started cooking this palak’s recipe in my kitchen. Though earlier it was not easy to get that exact taste, but after a long term effort, I finally make its taste like restaurants.

restaurant style homemade palak paneer with roti

We Bengalis have several palak recipes, but we never try such awesome preparation with paneer or cottage cheese. So being a Bengali especially a nonvegetarian, it was really hard to bring that authentic taste at the beginning.

I first had this palak paneer when my dad cooked it for us. My dad is not pure vegetarian but he loves to eat veg dishes. Most of the North Indian and veg Punjabi dishes are his favorite. Actually he was in Punjab for a long time due to his job and from then he was a fan of their recipes especially their dal, saag, and paneer. So when he came back, he used to cook something for us which he loved to eat and this palak paneer recipe was one of them.

My dad has a huge experience to have food in different dhabas in Punjab. And he says, nobody can make such delicious palak paneer how they do. Though I never go to Punjab and still deprived of that taste. So when I decided to make it at home, I first asked for my dad’s advice. But it’s been a long time and now he couldn’t remember that recipe properly so I started making it in my way. And I got success after a long time. So I wanted to share this recipe with you. And for your convenience, I described this recipe with step by step photos.

Tips for best palak paneer recipe

  • Here I have used homemade paneer. If you’re using a store-bought paneer, then you can keep the paneer cubes in hot water for 2-3 mins before adding it to this recipe. That will make the paneer so soft.
  • Always try to use the soft, tender palak with a small and light green color leaves that enhance its taste twice. Don’t use palak’s stem, that will make it bitter in taste.
  • Even if you want, may sauté the paneer cubes in oil for 2 mins at the beginning. As I don’t prefer to sauté or fry my paneer, I skip that part.
  • I have added the water twice while making the gravy of this curry to enhance its taste.
  • Instead of putting the blanched spinach in chilled water or ice water, I transferred the spinach leaves into two separate bowls with normal water. In the first bowl, the spinach will release its maximum heat and in the second bowl the leaves will be completely cool down in no time. Chilled water is used to immediately release the heat and cooling down, and to retain its color and my process will also do the same.

Should I blanch the palak or spinach before blending to make a smooth paste of it?

Yes, off course. We should blanch the palak before making this recipe even you have to do the same if you are using the frozen spinach too.

Firstly, as we know, Palak is known for its healthy properties like it’s full of rich nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. But palak contains a large amount of oxalic acid too which remains as a compound with other nutrients. And oxalic acid causing different health issues and only heat can break it down, and then only our body can easily absorb the other nutrients, so blanching of palak is more important to make it healthy.

Secondly, due to blanching, the palak leaves will be soft and you can easily blend it to make a smooth puree of it.

And lastly, these days a huge amount of pesticides are used to protect leafy vegetables from the insects and only cleaning with water is not enough to remove such harmful things from the leaves. So before cooking blanching can easily remove those unwanted harmful things from the palak leaves.

How to remove the bitterness of spinach for making a delicious palak paneer?

  • As Palak is bitter in taste, so we have to first remove its stem while preparing this recipe, which means here only leaves will be used.
  • I’ve used 1 tsp of sugar while blanching the palak. Because the sugar will help to reduce the bitterness and also retain the green color of palak also after blanching.
  • Here I’ve used tomato and lemon juice both. Even you may use curd instead of tomato. And the sourness of tomato (or curd) and lemon juice will also help together to reduce its bitterness.
  • As sugar and cream both are sweet in taste so the addition of these two also can reduce its bitterness. 

To remove its bitterness must follow these above instructions.

Must Prepare it at home and let me know your valuable comment about this recipe by writing it down in the comment section below.

Even you may try some of my other veg recipes

Palak paneer recipe

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Serve time: 40 mins

Course: Side dish

Cuisine:  North Indian

Serving for: 4-5 people

Author: Moumita Paul

Ingredients of palak paneer

  • 200 gms Palak leaves( from a bundle of 450 gms)
  • 300 gms Paneer
  • 1/4 cup fresh cream
  • 2 medium onions(finely chopped)
  • 1 tomato(medium-size)
  • 8-9 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 1 green chili
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1/8 tsp hing or asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 or 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 5 cubes butter
  • 3 tbsp refined oil

How to make palak paneer recipe(restaurant-style) at home with step by step pictures

 Preparation

  • First, remove the stem of palak and wash it thoroughly for 4-5 times. Then Place a vessel on high heat with 3 to 4 cups of water and add palak to it.
vessel with water and palak leaves is placed on high heat
  • Then add 1 tsp sugar to the spinach leaves to retain its original color and to reduce its bitterness.
adding one teaspoon of sugar to the palak or spinach leaves
  • After 3-4 mins, when the water gets hot and the spinach leaves blanched well, then turn off the heat.
spinach or palak saag gets blanched for making this recipe with paneer
  • Then immediately transfer the leaves in a bowl full of water(at room temperature), and stir it well for 3-4 times. And again transfer the leaves to another bowl of normal water to completely cool it down.
when the blanched palak or spinach cools down in water
  • After 2 mins, lightly squeeze the leaves and straight put it into the blender with 4 garlic cloves.
adding garlic cloves in the blender jar with the blanched spinach or palak for making this lasooni saag paneer recipe
  • Blend it well to get a smooth paste or puree of it.
after blending smooth paste of spinach in the blender jar for making this restaurant style palak paneer recipe

How to make palak paneer

  • Heat the pan on medium flame with 3 cubes of butter and 3 tbsp of oil.
heating the pan with three cubes butter and three tablespoon oil which is most important for restaurant style or punjabi dhaba style palak paneer recipe
  • When the butter completely melts down, then add 1/4 tsp cumin seeds and 2 bay leaves in the pan.
bay leaves and cumin seeds are added to the butter and oil
  • Then add chopped onion to the pan and sauté it well for 3-4 mins.
onion is added to the pan for saute
  • In the meantime, take a small blender jar, add 1 medium size tomato, 5 garlic cloves, 1 green chili, and 1/2 inch ginger. And blend it well to get a smooth paste.
tomato, garlic cloves, green chilli and ginger in the blender jar to blend it well and get a smooth paste
  • After 3-4 mins, when the onion gets soft and turns into a light pink color, then add the tomato-ginger-garlic-green chili paste to it. Sauté it well.
adding tomato-ginger-garlic-green chili paste to the well sauteed onion
  • Then add 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp garam masala powder to it and mix it well.
adding salt and garam masala powder with the masalas in the pan
  • Add 1/2 tsp red chili powder and sauté the masalas till the oil starts separating from it.
red chilli powder is added to the masalas
  • Then add the palak puree and mix it nicely. Sauté it for 1 min and then add 1/8 tsp hing to it. Mix it well. 
after adding the palak or spinach puree, adding hing to the pan
  • Saute the puree for 2 more mins and then add 1/4 cup or 4 tbsp fresh cream to it. Mix it nicely and cook it for 1-2 mins.
fresh cream is added to pan after adding spinach puree which turns it into a shahi palak recipe with paneer
  • Then add the paneer cubes to it and mix it together. It’s my homemade paneer even you may use the store-bought one too. 
paneer cubes are add to the pan with palak puree
  • Saute it for 2mins and then add 1/2 tsp sugar to it and mix it up well.
half teaspoon sugar is added to the palak puree based gravy
  • When the moisture almost goes off, then add first add 1/4 cup of water to it. Let it cook till the gravy gets thick.
water is added to the pan for making a gravy of palak puree and paneer
  • Then again add 1/2 cup of water and cook it till gets little thick or your desired consistency.
after adding more half cup of water and cooked it well to get the thickness of this palak paneer gravy
  • After getting that desired thickness, add 2 cubes of butter to it.
butter is added to this thick gravy of restaurant style palak paneer recipe
  • Then add again 1/4 tsp garam masala powder to the gravy and mix it nicely. It will retain a light flavor of garam masalas till the end.
once again garam masala powder is added to get the exact flavour of restaurant style palak paneer
  • Lastly, squeeze 1/2 lemon or 1 tbsp lemon juice to it, stir it quickly and turn off the heat. It will enhance its taste and flavor.
lastly adding half lemon juice to this gravy
  • Palak paneer is ready to serve. Serve it hot with roti, chapati, paratha or even with plain rice, jeera rice or pulao.
restaurant style palak paneer is ready
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