Palak Paneer

Remember when I made paneer? That was really only so I could make this dinner! A fragrant and spicy spinach dish flavored with garlic, cumin and green chiles. This was a good start for a Syrian cook, spice-wise, since I already have whole cumin in my pantry. So you don’t have to go spice shopping just yet!

I actually couldn’t find green chiles, but poblanos are pretty close, and they sell those at Fairway.

Palak Paneer: pressed fresh cheese with spinach, from How to Cook Indian


  • 1 pound baby spinach or 3 bunches fresh spinach, stemmed
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 4 green chiles, stemmed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 12-14 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 10 ounces paneer, cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream


  1. Place a saucepan over medium heat, fill it with water, add 1 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Add the spinach and blanch. Refresh under cold running water and drain well.
  2. Transfer to a food processor, add the chiles and process to a fine paste.
  3. Place a nonstick pan over medium heat and add the oil. When small bubbles appear at the bottom, add the cumin. When it begins to change color, add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the spinach puree and stir. Add 1/2 cup water.
  4. Bring to a boil, then add the paneer and stir gently. Add the remaining salt and the lemon juice; stir gently. Add the cream and remove from the heat. Serve hot.