Saag Paneer

Indian Saag Paneer

This dish became popular in the United States as Palak (spinach) Paneer. Saag Paneer is more flexible. You can use and combine any green leaves you like. Paneer is an Indian fresh cheese that doesn’t melt easily. Its taste is similar to unsalted cottage cheese. We included in this recipe plenty of options to substitute paneer for an even delicious dish. 
Hands-on Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 3


  • 18 oz baby leaves from kale, spinach, chard, and/ or collard greens*
  • 12 oz paneer or halloumi cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 onion finely chopped or grated
  • butter or vegetable oil or ghee
  • salt & pepper

Saag Paneer Culinary Spice Kit

  • Cumin, coriander, garlic, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, white pepper


  • 1-2 green chilies chopped
  • additional garlic to taste grated
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1-4 tbsp heavy cream or yogurt

Suggested Sides

  • naan or other fresh flatbread
  • cooked Basmati rice
  • boiled potatoes



  • In a large POT, bring 4 quarts of water to boil.
  • Add leaves and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Drain and let cool.
  • In a FOOD PROCESSOR, grind leaves with a cup of water into a smooth puree.
  • Optionally, add green chilies.


  • In a PAN, heat 2 tbsp butter over medium-low heat.
  • Fry onions with a dash of salt until they turn translucent.
  • Stir in Saag Paneer spices.
  • Optionally, add garlic to taste.
  • Add leaves puree and salt & pepper to taste.
  • If using tofu, chicken, or garbanzo beans, add them now.
  • Add some water if you like the dish more liquid. Mix well.
  • Cook 5 minutes over medium-low heat.
  • Add paneer cubes. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes.


  • Optionally, finish the dish to taste with lemon juice, and/ or heavy cream or yogurt.


  • Serve with bread, rice, or over potatoes.
  • Enjoy!


* Alternatively, use 3 bunch of green leaves, chopped.
▪ Fry paneer shortly before adding it to the dish.
▪ Substitute paneer with feta or cottage cheese. Don’t cook it. Add it to the plated dish.
▪ Substitute paneer with 1 lb cubed chicken or tofu, or 1 can garbanzo beans. Season & fry them shortly before adding them to the dish.