Saag Paneer

4.50 from 18 votes

This creamy Saag Paneer is a delicious Indian curry made using a mix of green leafy vegetables and fried cubes of paneer. It is gluten-free, easy to make, and goes well with Indian bread like Naan or Paratha.

Make some more scrumptious Paneer Recipes, such as – Paneer Jalfrezi, Mughlai Paneer Korma, Paneer In White Gravy, Paneer Masala, and Paneer Butter Masala.

Saag Paneer served in a bowl.
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About This Recipe

Saag is a popular Punjabi gravy, where green leafy vegetables are pureed and then cooked along with a spicy Onion Tomato Masala.

If you like Palak Paneer, then you will definitely love this Creamy Saag Paneer or green goodness as I like to call it.

In this authentic Punjabi Paneer Recipe, the gravy is made of green leafy vegetables which are cooked along with tomato puree, onions, and everyday spices.

Once the gravy is cooked, crispy fried pieces of Paneer or Indian Cottage Cheese are added into this flavourful gravy which gives it a nice crunch and taste.

I like to make my Paneer pieces a little crispier than making it slightly golden brown. So if you like your Paneer crispy, pan fry it for a longer time on low heat, but make sure you don’t burn it.

Here are some more Green Leafy Recipes to include in your special menu – Punjabi Sarson Ka Saag, Chaulai Ka Saag, Restaurant Style Palak Paneer, Palak Corn Curry, Palak Chole, and Kashmiri Methi Chaman

This Saag Paneer is,

  • Rich in Protein & Iron
  • Delicious
  • Loaded with the goodness of leafy greens
  • Perfect for festive meals
  • Better than the restaurant one

Ingredients

Saag paneer Ingredients.

Ingredients used in this Paneer Saagwala are not very complicated. You will find most of these in an Indian pantry.

Greens – To make Saag Paneer you will need greens like spinach, fenugreek, and coriander. You can even add some mustard leaves, bathua, kulfa, or even tender leaves of chickpeas and dill to this mix. Other greens that you can add in this dish are kale, turnip, or collard greens. Make sure to use a mix of greens for a lovely flavor.

Add a green chili while grinding the greens gives a nice spicy kick to the dish.

Oil – I made this authentic Punjabi recipe using mustard oil as it gives a very authentic taste to the dish. But you can definitely use any oil of your choice to make this recipe.

Paneer – Paneer is Indian cottage cheese and is easily available in a lot of stores in the US or in Indian stores nearby you. You can replace paneer with tofu, potato chickpeas, rajma, or even shredded chicken.

Halloumi cheese is another option that you can use in place of paneer. It is a little chewy but will pair well with this green curry.

Whole Spices – Adding whole spices in hot oil gives a delicious flavor to curries. Pounding the spices before adding them to the hot oil gives the best result. Whole spices used in this curry are cloves, black peppercorn, black cardamom, and cinnamon.

Spiced Powders – We will also use some basic spice powders such as coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, roasted cumin powder, garam masala powder, and salt.

Other Ingredients – Other than the above ingredients we will also require Onion, Tomato Yogurt, and Lemon Juice. Yogurt adds a nice creamy texture to the gravy.

If you want to make it more rich, then you can also add in fresh cream and give it a mix.

Step By Step Recipe

Clean and wash the greens thoroughly under running water. Heat water in a large pot. When the water comes to a boil, add 2 tablespoon of salt and 1 teaspoon sugar to it. Add the washed greens and cook for 2 minutes.

Remove from heat. Drain the water and run the greens under cold water. Drain nicely.

Greens soaked in cold water

Blend the greens in a blender to make a coarse paste. Keep aside.

Greens blended to a paste

Heat mustard oil in a pan.

Mustard oil heating in a pan

Add paneer cubes on the pan and fry them until they are slightly browned. Remove and keep aside.

Frying paneer cubes in mustard oil

In the same oil, add cloves, black peppercorn, black cardamom, and cinnamon and fry for 20 seconds. Crushing the whole spices before adding them in the oil releases their flavor even more.

cloves, black peppercorn, black cardamom, and cinnamon in hot oil

Add sliced onion and fry till golden brown.

Frying onion in oil

Add tomato puree and yogurt and cook for another minute.

Tomato paste and yogurt added to the pan

Now add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder and salt to taste.

Dry masala powder added to the pan

Add little water and fry for 2-3 minutes.

Cooked gravy

Add the pureed greens and cook for 30-40 seconds. Drizzle ghee on top and cook for another minute.

Blended greens added to the pan

Now add lemon juice, garam masala powder, and fried paneer cubes and mix well. Garnish with golden fried onions.

Paneer cubes re-added to the pan with lemon juice

Serve hot with rice or phulka.

Saag paneer ready to serve

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it healthy?

Yes, Saag Paneer is a healthy recipe. Green Leafy Vegetables are full of Iron, and on the other hand, Paneer fulfills your protein intake of the day. To make it a little more healthy, you can avoid frying the paneer and add it as it is the Saag and give it a mix. 

How to make it KETO friendly?

Cook the saag paneer in ghee instead of mustard oil and add lots of fresh cream once it is cooked. Your KETO version is ready.

Saag Paneer vs Palak Paneer

Saag Paneer and Palak Paneer might look the same when you look at the dish, but it has a slight difference.

While Palak Paneer only uses Palak or spinach to make the gravy, Saag Paneer Recipe uses other leafy vegetables too along with spinach such as fenugreek leaves, radish greens, and coriander leaves.

This difference could be very small but it changes the taste of the curry a lot, making these two totally different dishes.

Can we use chopped Greens instead of pureed Greens?

It depends on you, what kind of texture you prefer for your Saag. If you like it chunky, then you can finely chop it and use it in the curry. And if you want the curry to be smooth, puree it and add in the curry.

Can we add greens without blanching?

If you add greens without blanching, it will deliver a raw taste in the curry at the end, which won’t taste good. Therefore always blanch it for 2 minutes before adding it in the curry.

Also, do not cook the greens for very long too, otherwise it will lose its colour and nutritional benefits.

Serving Suggestions

Wondering what do eat with this Indian Spinach Cheese Dish? This Saag Paneer tastes great with almost everything, be it an Indian bread or a Rice preparation.

But in winter, I like to serve it with Makki Ki Roti or Bajre Ki Roti, which is extremely popular in North Indian states.

You can serve it with any Indian Bread such as Phulka, Plain Tawa Paratha, Lachha Paratha, Missi Roti, Tandoori Roti, Naan, Kulcha, or any Bread that you make often in your home.  It even tastes great with plain rice, jeera rice, or any Pulav preparations.

Storing Suggestions

This Saag Paneer or Spinach with Indian Cheese Recipe will last in the fridge for about 2-3 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

To freeze the same, I will suggest you to the freeze the Saag in an airtight container and add in Paneer cubes while serving it. When you want to serve, thaw the curry to room temperature, add paneer cubes, and heat it.

You can even give a fresh tadka to the gravy just before serving.

Variations

Vegan – Make a vegan version by replacing paneer with tofu, yogurt with cashew cream, and ghee with oil.

No Onion No Garlic – This curry doesn’t use garlic, so you just have to skip adding onions and make the base of the curry with just tomatoes.

Rich – To make this curry richer, add some fresh cream, cashew cream of coconut milk at the end of cooking.

Instant Pot Method

You can easily make it in an Instant Pot or Electric Pressure Cooker. Here is how

  • Press the SAUTE button of the Instant pot.
  • Heat mustard oil in the pot and let it heat.
  • Add paneer cubes in the pan and fry them until they are slightly browned.
  • Remove and keep aside.
  • In the same oil, add cloves, black peppercorn, black cardamom, and cinnamon and fry for 20 seconds.
  • Add sliced onion and fry till golden brown.
  • Add tomato puree and yogurt and cook for another minute.
  • Now add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder and salt to taste.
  • Add little water and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the chopped greens and mix well.
  • Close the lid of the pot and press the PRESSURE COOK button.
  • Set the timer to 1 minute.
  • Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release.
  • Open the lid and puree the greens using a hand blender.
  • Add lemon juice, garam masala powder, and fried paneer cubes and mix well.
  • Garnish with golden fried onions.
  • Serve hot with rice or phulka.

Pro Tips By Neha

Always use fresh greens to make this curry, as it delivers the best taste and flavour. Make sure they are not wilted, otherwise the curry won’t taste fresh.

To make it extra creamy, add in some fresh cream and thick coconut milk at the end and give it a mix.

For a smooth curry, puree the greens and then use in the curry.

You can add any greens of your choice to make this dish. I like to add greens like fenugreek, spinach, mustard etc as they are freshly available in the market in Winters.

Cook the onion tomato masala well, before adding the green puree. Do not hurry, otherwise the curry will taste raw.

You might also like

Creamy Saag Paneer is a delicious Indian curry made using a mix of green leafy vegetables and fried cubes of paneer. It is easy to make and goes well with Indian bread like Naan or Paratha. Here is how to make it.
4.50 from 18 votes

Saag Paneer Recipe

Saag Paneer is a delicious Indian curry made using a mix of green leafy vegetables and fried cubes of paneer. It is easy to make and goes well with Indian breads like Naan or Paratha.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

To make the paste

  • 2 cups Spinach/ Palak
  • 1 cup Fenugreek/ Methi
  • 1 cup Radish Greens/ Mooli ke Patte
  • ½ cup Fresh Coriander/ Dhaniya
  • 2 Green Chillies

For the Gravy

  • 4 tablespoon Mustard Oil
  • 400 g Paneer (Cut into cubes)
  • 3-4 Cloves
  • 3-4 Black Peppercorns
  • 2 Black Cardamom
  • 1 inch Cinnamon Stick
  • ½ cup Onion (Thinly Sliced)
  • 4 tablespoon Tomato Puree
  • ¼ cup Yogurt
  • 2 teaspoon Coriander Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Roasted Cumin Powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon Ghee
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • ½ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
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Instructions 

To make a paste

  • Clean and wash the greens thoroughly under running water.
  • Heat water in a large pot.
  • When the water comes to a boil, add 2 tablespoon of salt and 1 teaspoon sugar to it.
  • Add the washed greens and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Drain the water and run the greens under cold water.
  • Drain nicely.
  • Blend the greens in a blender to make a coarse paste.
  • Keep aside.

For the gravy

  • Heat mustard oil in a pan.
  • Add paneer cubes on the pan and fry them until they are slightly browned.
  • Remove and keep aside.
  • In the same oil, add cloves, black peppercorn, black cardamom and cinnamon and fry for 20 seconds.
  • Add sliced onion and fry till golden brown.
  • Add tomato puree and yogurt and cook for another minute.
  • Now add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder and salt to taste.
  • Add little water and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the pureed greens and cook for 30-40 seconds.
  • Drizzle ghee on top and cook for another minute.
  • Add lemon juice, garam masala powder and fried paneer cubes and mix well.
  • Garnish with golden fried onions.
  • Serve hot with rice or phulka.

Notes

Adding a little baking soda or sugar in the water while cooking the greens helps in retaining their green color.
Cool the greens before pureeing them.
Do not overcook the greens once you add the puree in the masala.

Nutrition

Calories: 537kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 48g, Saturated Fat: 22g, Cholesterol: 87mg, Sodium: 134mg, Potassium: 228mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1652IU, Vitamin C: 60mg, Calcium: 681mg, Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is an excellent version of Saag paneer. I, too, am from Bombay and know good food. I may try to add a hint of ginger/garlic next time to intensify the flavor. Thanks, Whisk Affair.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this last night. The instructions were very precise and easy to follow, and the result was fantastic. I am from Bombay originally and know good food. This was top notch. Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    So easy to make and tastes delicious, will definitely make this again. I plan on making a number of other Indian recipes you have. Please keep adding other Indian recipes to your blog Thank you 🙂

    1. 5 stars
      Finally!! I’ve been trying to replicate the Saag paneer i had in India and at my favorite Indian restaurant here in Baltimore, and I didn’t succeed until I stumbled upon this recipe! It is so good!!
      I used a heavy hand for all of the spices and did half mustard oil/half ghee when browning the paneer.. Blanching the greens and peppers made a big difference. I used 5 cups of spinache 1/2 cup of cilantro and 3 chiles. It was perfect.
      Thank you so much!