saag paneer

In an effort to eat less meat (not for moral reasons, sorry activists, purely for avoiding-antibiotics-and-hormones-pumped-into-animals reasons) I've been experimenting with more and more veg only dishes.

I found a few recipes for this dish online and all of them were quite different, some used no garlic (?!?!), others omitted ginger, they all used different masalas and some used full cream while others used milk. I decided to take what I liked out of all the recipes and this was the result. By no means authentic but by all means delicious. I'd advise varying proportions according to your taste.

This was my first time using paneer and I have to admit it was trickier than I'd anticipated. The biggest thing I learned was don't overcook the paneer. You don't want to to look like halloumi once cooked. Golden is bad. Paneer is not ideal when crunchy on the outside. The aim is to remove from the oil as soon as it starts changing colour so that the cheese stays soft and delicious. Some of my pieces came out a little too dark but the dish was still good so I could overlook it.


Saag Paneer


Vegetable oil for frying
250grams paneer
500grams spinach (chopped)
1 onion (chopped finely)
4 cloves of garlic (chopped finely)
1 thumb of ginger, peeled and chopped (about 2cms - chopped finely) 1 chilli (chopped finely)
1 tablespoon masala of your choice (I used Gorima's house mix but I've seen garam masala and madras masala in other recipes)
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 cup tomato puree
1/2 a cup plain Greek or Bulgarian yoghurt
1/2 a cup milk
Salt as needed


  • Chop paneer into cubes and fry on all sides (taking note of the advice above). Then set aside.
  • Add the onion, to a pan and cook until translucent.
  • Add chilli and cook for a further 2 mins
  • Add the garlic, ginger and spices and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds
  • Add the tomato puree and then simmer until reduced, about 10 mins
  • Once sauce is reduced turn up the heat slightly and start adding spinach in handfuls until all the spinach is wilted and coated in sauce.
  • Stir in the yoghurt and the milk
  • Lastly add the paneer and simmer until warmed through.

Serve with rice, naan or roti.


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