Palak Paneer Bhurji is a nutritious twist to your regular paneer bhurji (scrambled Indian cottage cheese). This 15-minute dish is perfect to serve for your everyday meals or to pack in lunch boxes.
About This Recipe
Rich in iron and protein, Palak Paneer Bhurji is nothing but your classic North Indian paneer bhurji (spicy Indian cottage cheese scramble) with the addition of palak (spinach). It is easy, healthy, and comes together in just 15 minutes.
My version of bhurji is also flavored with pav bhaji masala, which happens to be my secret ingredient for this recipe. It just spikes up the taste and makes it taste different from your regular bhurji recipes.
Serve it for breakfast with a toasted pav, as a side dish with your everyday meals or pack in a lunch box with hot and flaky tawa parathas.
Paneer – Homemade paneer works best for this recipe as it can be crumbled easily. If you want to use store-bought paneer, keep it in a bowl of warm water for 5 to 10 minutes so that it becomes soft and crumbles easily.
Spinach (Palak) – This recipe calls for chopped spinach, do not puree it. Use fresh and green spinach and not the wilted one for the best taste.
You can also use frozen spinach to make this dish. Thaw it and squeeze to remove any extra water. Then chop and add to the dish.
Replace the spinach with fenugreek leaves (methi) for a taste change.
Pav Bhaji Masala – This is my secret ingredient! You can use any store-bought pav bhaji masala or make your own at home. It instantly enhances the flavour of this simple bhurji.
Spice Powders – You will need a few everyday spice powders like coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt, roasted cumin powder, and garam masala powder.
Oil – Oil or ghee, both work well in this bhurji recipe. For a richer taste, you can use butter.
Others – You will also need cumin seeds, asafetida (hing), onions, fresh ginger, garlic, tomatoes, green chilies, lime juice, and cilantro (coriander).
How To Make Palak Paneer Bhurji
Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 2 tablespoon ghee in a pan over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is hot, add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and ¼ teaspoon asafetida (hing) and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.
Add 1 cup chopped onions, 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger, and 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic and fry until onion is slightly browned (4-5 minutes). Keep stirring frequently.
Now, add ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes and 2 teaspoon finely chopped green chilies and cook for another minute.
Add 1 teaspoon coriander powder, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, 2 teaspoon pav bhaji masala and 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Crumble 1 and ½ cup paneer and add it to the pan along with 1 cup finely chopped spinach, salt to taste, ½ teaspoon cumin powder, ½ teaspoon garam masala powder and 2 tablespoon lime juice and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Garnish with 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro and serve hot.
Frequently Asked Questions
To make paneer for this recipe, add 1-liter whole milk to a heavy-bottomed pan and bring it to a gentle boil on medium heat. Once it comes to a boil, switch off the heat and add 2 tablespoon lime juice or vinegar and give it a nice stir.
You will see that milk will begin to curdle immediately and the solids will separate from the whey. If it doesn’t happen, keep the milk on the heat again and heat until you see the solids separating in the milk.
After this process, you will see that the whey is clear and not milky. It will turn yellow or greenish in color.
Next, place a colander over a large bowl and layer it with a clean cheese or muslin cloth. Add the curdled milk into the colander and add cold water so that the smell of lime juice or vinegar goes away.
If you have used vinegar, rinse the paneer a few times under clean water to get rid of the smell.
Once done, squeeze off the excess water and hang the cloth for 15 minutes to get rid of any moisture left in the solids. Crumble the paneer and use it in the recipe.
Homemade paneer is super soft and can be easily crumbled. It adds a melt in mouth texture to your bhurji.
This dish is popularly enjoyed for breakfast with hot and flaky tawa or lachha parathas or served as a side dish with an everyday meal of dal and roti. It can also be packed in an office or school lunch box with parathas and a side of raita on the side.
I like to serve it with some toasted pav or bread for breakfast or as an evening snack with a hot cup of masala chai.
In case you have leftovers, use them to make kathi rolls, wraps, sandwiches, or stuffed parathas. If you are using it to make a roll or sandwich, smear on some green chutney and add in a few sliced raw onions as well.
Palak Paneer Bhurji will last in the refrigerator for about 2-3 days in a clean and dry air-tight container. Reheat it in a pan or microwave until nice and warm to serve again. It is not freezer-friendly!
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Palak Paneer Bhurji Recipe
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon asafetida (hing)
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped green chilies
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoons pav bhaji masala
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
- 1-½ cup homemade paneer
- 1 cup finely chopped spinach (fresh or frozen)
- salt (to taste)
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro (coriander)
- Heat vegetable oil and ghee in a pan over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and asafetida and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.
- Add onions, ginger, and garlic and fry until onion is slightly browned (4-5 minutes). Keep stirring frequently.
- Now, add tomatoes and green chilies and cook for another minute.
- Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, pav bhaji masala and Kashmiri red chilli powder and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Crumble the paneer and add it to the pan along with spinach, salt, cumin powder, garam masala powder, and lime juice and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.