Saag Paneer Recipe

After much trial and error, this is what I have come up with. It is a reasonable match to what you get in a restaurant, but it is much lower in fat and cholesterol.

  • 2 tbs oil
  • 1 tbs cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic (traditionally, a “pinch” of hing is used instead)
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 cp (1/2 14 oz can) diced stewed tomatoes
  • 2 tbs coriander
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper or finely chopped chilis (more or less, as you prefer)
  • 1 lb spinach, finely chopped
  • 1 12 fl oz can evaporated milk (low fat, if you prefer)
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 lb paneer, cubed
  1. Fry cumin seeds in oil for a few seconds on high heat until the cumin sputters. If using ground cumin, then add it later instead.
  2. Add onion and fry until the onion is nearly done. Then add butter, garlic, and ginger and fry until everything is well cooked.
  3. Add tomatoes, coriander, tumeric, red pepper, spinach and evaporated milk. Mix well.
  4. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You will need to cook with the lid off to evaporate some liquid.
  5. . Mix in paneer and garam masala. Simmer for at least another 5 minutes.
  6. Enjoy.


  1. This dish is also known as Palak Paneer. There may or may not be a difference between the two, depending on who you talk to.
  2. Other versions of this recipe call for a combination of “bitter” greens (e.g. mustard) and “mild” greens (e.g. spinach).
  3. Occasionally, I've seen this made without milk or cream, but the taste is very different.
  4. Garam masala literally means “spice mix”. There are many varieties. Find the one you like best.

Thanks to Vidya and her son Jay for helping me perfect this.

Indian Recipes

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