March 16, 2010

Palak Paneer and Rehab

palak paneer

My crystal ball confirms that the ever popular dish, palak paneer (spinach and Indian cheese) will eternally remain the elite veggie choice on Indian restaurant menus. Nobody can resist that luscious texture of pureed spinach combined with supple, dense and addictive paneer. Oh that reminds me, I mustn’t forget to visit the doctor for my next round of paneer detox drugs. I’ve been in paneer rehab for a while now, having gone cold turkey/paneer (whichever you prefer) a few months ago. Remission is goin’ baaadly. Have you noticed?

Let me introduce you to the six-step programme for overcoming paneer related dependence:*
• Admitting that one cannot control one’s addiction or compulsion (to paneer)
• Recognizing a greater power that can give strength (it cannot be paneer)
• Examining past paneer-related errors with the help of a sponsor (a.k.a. A paneer hater- This can be quite difficult because nobody hates paneer)
• Making amends for these cheesy errors
• Learning to live a new life with a new code of behavior (denial of the existence of paneer)
• Helping others that suffer from the same delicious addictions or compulsions

And so it seems that I failed on all fronts. It would be wrong for me to blame those around me for being negligent towards my delicate disposition by enticing me with cheesy treats. But that’s what I’m going to do. I was tricked and mislead into believing that a slow withdrawal within my paneer remission was a good idea. Thus, resulting in my complete failure to return to normality.

You may be wondering whether there is any truth in what has been written above.

There are two ways to be fooled: One is to believe what isn’t so; the other is to refuse to believe what is so. –Soren Kierkegaard

I really hope you enjoy the palak paneer recipe. If you don’t like paneer:

1. You may need some minor medical help.
2. Just don’t make palak paneer.

Just remember not to be beguiled by any paneer-associated mind games, audio wizardry or optical illusions that could potentially alter your decision to abstain from cooking paneer.

palak paneer 3 opt

You are getting very sleepy…

Luscious Palak Paneer
(Serves 4)


1 cup paneer (or tofu for vegans), lightly grilled
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp ginger, minced
3 hot green chillies, minced (more or less if you prefer)
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
9-10 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup water
1 medium onion, minced
2 tbsp sunflower oil
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp cinnamon powder
¼ tsp cardamom powder
¼ tsp fennel powder
2 tbsp single cream (optional)
Salt to taste
1 tiny pinch of baking powder

palak paneer 2


1. Blanch the spinach in hot water with a tiny pinch of baking powder (which keeps it beautifully green!) and drain when wilted. Place in a blender and puree with a cup of water. Set the puree aside.

2. In a large pan heat the oil and add the onions, garlic, ginger, chillies and tomatoes. Cook for around 5 minutes on a high heat stirring constantly. Do not let it burn.

3. Add the spinach puree, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, fennel powder, cinnamon powder, cardamom powder and salt to taste. Simmer on a medium heat until the oil separates from the spinach mixture.

4. Add the paneer and single cream if you wish and remove from the heat.

5. Serve with naan, rice, paratha or if you can’t wait, a spoon.

palak paneer 3

*Adapted from what Wikipedia labels AA Rehabilitation Programme

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42 responses to “Palak Paneer and Rehab”

  1. Anncoo says:

    Again another healthy dish, looks amazing especially the second picture.

  2. Preeti Kashyap says:

    Yummy recipe and great pics.

  3. Sharmilee! :) says:

    Healthy and yummy combo….!

  4. Stacy says:

    Sanjana, this looks so good. I just got really hungry! And sleepy πŸ™‚

  5. Divina Pe says:

    Beautiful recipe. I have to admit I haven't made the paneer yet. I know I should be doing it soon. It's on my list and hope to make some of your recipes with paneer. I love this one too. πŸ™‚

  6. My Experiments with Food says:

    Wow! Another of my favourite dishes…so your crystal ball is quite correct πŸ™‚
    For me, unfortunately, my dear hubby doesnot like palak paneer…infact he has no appetite for "saag" and hence the dislike. Also, the only other time i tried palak paneer, it turned out quite bad πŸ™
    Let me see if i can make him see "green" with this recipe of yours!

  7. MeetaK says:

    i am afraid i have to admit that i am very heavily addicted to paneer and this is one of my fave dishes. unfortunately it's not readily available in german stores so i have to make it myself. this looks amazing!

  8. Rohini says:

    Hehe… Couldn't stop smiling at ur rehab therapy!! I too am a panner-addict and everytime I make a Paneer dish, I remind myself that the next one should come only after a month or so.. But then the vow is broken in a week πŸ˜‰
    Your Palak Paneer looks just awesome! Makes me drool right in the morning…!

  9. Prathibha says:

    looks yummy and nice pics too dear…

  10. Tina says:

    Healthy and yummy dish…

  11. Miranda says:

    This recipe looks fantastic. I love anything with lots of spinach and lots of cheese!

  12. 3 hungry tummies says:

    I make this every time I make paneer! You are very funny!

  13. A 2 Z Vegetarian Cuisine says: are so funny..always have loved your write up…in between palak paneer looks awesome, my kids would definitely love this..

  14. Trix says:

    Why fight it? You can't resist the paneer, no one can. It can't be wrong when it tastes so right!

  15. Srimathi says:

    I love your photos. I was so hungry when I looked at it last night. I love paneer and I make them a lot because my daughter will eat anything paneer.I enjoyed your write up. Good job. πŸ™‚

  16. Cool Lassi(e) says:

    I am on the same page with you. Paneer is something that I am addicted to and I don't want to go to a Rehab to get over it. The dish looks delectable.

  17. the wicked noodle says:

    That dish looks awesome!! It's making me VERY hungry πŸ™‚ And I love the quote, too!

  18. Mae says:

    I am, in fact, in love with this dish. It's true. I still have not gotten up the bravery to make it yet, but it's starting to be inevitable that I must. I can't wait!

  19. AshKuku says:

    Perfectly prepared & brilliantly presented & captured…. It is amazingly pleasingly temptingly delicious…. But I can only say….. Tumare Haaton mein to JAADOO hai……. πŸ™‚


  20. Bigarade says:

    I was so close too licking my screen πŸ™

  21. Jagruti says:

    Paneer in any form..always welcome!! dish looks delicious and tasty!!

  22. 5 Star Foodie says:

    Palak paneer sounds so yummy! I would love to try!

  23. Wild Stud says:

    Wow, looks yummy,

    But more then the food, I like your narratives. Try challenging JK Rowlings and you might do better


  24. Cooking Foodie says:

    Yes a staple in a restaurant menu and something we always order πŸ™‚
    Your dish looks delicious and beautiful clicks as always…

  25. T. The Destructor says:

    This looks delicious.

    And that swirly pic of the dish just makes it look like its flying around the plate, having fun. Which makes it all the more appealing.

  26. Vaishali Sharma says:

    You are so funny!! πŸ™‚ Love ur write up! Palak Paneer looks awesome and delicious! My husband is a Paneer Freak, he definitely needs Rehab-Therapy!! ..LOL

  27. Siddhi S says:

    super yummy dish

  28. Kathy Gori says:

    I am totally hypnotized! btw, stop by my blog and pick up your award

  29. Oraphan says:

    Wow! All your photos are absolutely amazing! Your paneer dish looks and sounds so healthy and delicious.

  30. sangeeta says:

    it is such a fun read…
    what is this with you girl…first you malign paneer with all those false allegations that it is addictive n all that n then you name the dish luscious PP…..nahi chalega!!
    just pass on the plate to me…

  31. Yasmeen says:

    I'm careful about paneer's addiction,refrain myself from buying it ,not more than once in 3 months πŸ˜€

  32. Cooking Foodie says:


    I m going to try to win the bracelet πŸ™‚ I am thinking of recipes to create… WIll definitely give some competition to Mr. P πŸ˜›

  33. M D says:

    The look of it is so tempting! Good click.

  34. meeso says:

    Lol, you're too funny… Looks DELICIOUS!

  35. Ju (The Little Teochew) says:

    I'm with Trix! Your paneer always turns out amazing!!! Brilliant meal, Sanjana. I love how you presented it.

  36. Parita says:

    Delicious pictures! Who doesnt love palak paneer, its my all time fav combo!

  37. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets says:

    You are a riot and also absolutely right that this dish is irresistible. Fortunately, I can only take such rich deliciousness once every few weeks. Built-in self control right there.

  38. shivani says:

    i just love paneer so any recipe which contains paneer i love it. and your recipe is also looks like restaurant style

  39. Mariam says:

    Hey! I'll be making this in a few hours by need to ask you this first! Does the fresh spinach have to be tightly packed/pressed into 9 to 10 cups? Or just measured out loosely ? I thought I posted earlier… But my comment didn't show up. Your prompt answr wud be appreciated!!!

  40. Sanjana says:

    Hi Mariam- I scrunched the leaves together but they weren't totally packed in or loose. Press the leaves into the cup but not as hard as you can. Around 1.6-1.8kg fresh spinach. I hope that helps.

  41. Jay Thanki says:

    Great recipe
    Gonna cook it tomorrow for the family
    Thanks sanjana

  42. […] stuffed myself with Palak Paneer last night. I feel terrible about it and actually had a bit of trouble sleeping. I think it’s […]

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