Saag Paneer

Saag paneer

Directly translated, saag paneer is “spinach cheese”. Kids only taste the creamy and firm Indian cheese, paneer, forgetting all about the abundance of spinach. Served over brown rice with whole-wheat naan bread, this global inspired dish fuels even the hungriest of appetites.


  • 2 pounds of fresh baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¾ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 gloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ginger root, grated
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp each salt, ground coriander and turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 package paneer, cubed


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add spinach and blanch until just wilted. Drain well.
  2. In food processor, blend spinach with up to ¼ cup of water, until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and cook until slightly browned.
  4. Add onion and sauté until golden, around 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in cilantro, salt, coriander, turmeric and cinnamon. Cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  6. Add tomatoes and cook till they reduce and break down, around 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in the reserved spinach and cook covered for 3 minutes. Add water if consistency is no longer saucy.
  8. Stir in yogurt, lemon juice and paneer, bringing to a simmer. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  9. Serve alone or over rice.
  10. Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Paneer can be found in most supermarkets and Indian grocery stories. It never fully melts, making it perfect for the long cooking time associated with curries.

This dish makes great leftovers. Try it as a “dip” with cut up naan bread or vegetables.

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