Saag paneer is a classic Indian dish of cooked spinach studded with cubes of fried paneer cheese. Thickened with cream or coconut milk, it's a hearty and filling vegetarian meal.

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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Cook spinach and fenugreek in the boiling water until wilted, about 3 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a food processor. Puree until finely chopped, about 5 pulses.

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  • Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry paneer cubes, stirring constantly, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

  • Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in the skillet and fry the cumin seeds until lightly toasted and aromatic, about 3 minutes. Add onion; cook and stir until onion begins to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in ginger, garlic, tomato, garam masala, turmeric, and cayenne pepper; cook and stir until tomatoes break down and onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.

  • Stir in spinach and fenugreek, cream, paneer cubes, and salt to taste. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cook's Note:

You can substitute coconut milk for the cream.

Partner Tip

Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

299 calories; 17.1 g protein; 18 g carbohydrates; 29 mg cholesterol; 479.9 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (93)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
04/08/2013
I don't give many 5-star ratings and this isn't a perfect recipe, but it produced the best saag I have made so far (after trying three other recipes). I am puzzled by the reviews that say this is bland. My husband and I like our food heavily seasoned (and spicy). Both of us were pleasantly surprised when we didn't feel the need to add chile paste, hot sauc, etc! I admittedly measured the spices generously, and I did use coconut milk instead if cream, too. In fact, I found that for the amount if spinach I used (1 lb), I needed to add almost a whole can of coconut milk to get the consistency I wanted. My Indian grocer was out of fresh fenugreek, so I used a couple tablespoons of dry fenugreek leaves, and they added a lot of flavor. I also made the paneer from scratch . . . Yum! I will definitely be using this recipe again. Read More
(71)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
01/14/2015
It took longer than the recipe stated and needed much more ginger and other spices. The paneer is very chewy when prepared this way, it is better if one soaks it in water at least a day in the refridgerator after frying. The spinach will loose its color unless submerged in ice water after cooking. Goes great with saffron rice and mango chutney! Read More
(12)
127 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 91
  • 4 star values: 26
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 5
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 5 stars
04/07/2013
I don't give many 5-star ratings and this isn't a perfect recipe, but it produced the best saag I have made so far (after trying three other recipes). I am puzzled by the reviews that say this is bland. My husband and I like our food heavily seasoned (and spicy). Both of us were pleasantly surprised when we didn't feel the need to add chile paste, hot sauc, etc! I admittedly measured the spices generously, and I did use coconut milk instead if cream, too. In fact, I found that for the amount if spinach I used (1 lb), I needed to add almost a whole can of coconut milk to get the consistency I wanted. My Indian grocer was out of fresh fenugreek, so I used a couple tablespoons of dry fenugreek leaves, and they added a lot of flavor. I also made the paneer from scratch . . . Yum! I will definitely be using this recipe again. Read More
(71)
Rating: 4 stars
11/29/2012
To make this truly authentic use ghee instead of oil and get the fresh dried garam masala and grind it up. This dish came out delicious but definitely took longer to cook then the prep/cook time designated. Read More
(38)
Rating: 5 stars
05/16/2016
Hi everyone, I am indian, this is a delicious dish, but I have always used cornflour to thicken it , about 2/3 tablespoons. The key to making it tasty is adding hot chilli(fresh if possible)and plenty of tempered onion 2 or 3 even and lots of ginger and garlic, otherwise the dish is too bland.I have never used tumeric, it isn't required, I have never used garam masala but a little probably wouldn't hurt. Hope this is helpful.I use butter to temper the onions , I have never used cream or cocunut milk. Sorry I wouldn't dream of it, as I feel it would really ruin the taste. I don't like to tweak recipes, but I am sorry had to. But its a really good dish. Read More
(37)
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Rating: 5 stars
02/07/2013
This recipe is fantastic. I didn't use any ginger because my wife hates it and it did take far longer than an hour but well worth it. Read More
(30)
Rating: 5 stars
11/17/2014
This turned out great! Easily as good a flavor as what I've had in many restaurants. I did make some intentional and unintentional modifications that I thought would be helpful. FENUGREEK: I did not have fresh fenugreek or dried fenugreek so I added a couple of hefty pinches in, stirring and tasting each time. PANEER: I read that Queso Fresco was a better option than store bought paneer if you didn't have time to make paneer from scratch. It was the perfect consistency and flavor! I DO have to admit my cubes became crumbles because my heat was too high. Ooop! Lesson learned for next time. CREAM: As at least one other user suggested, I used coconut milk instead of cream. I used the whole can and let the moisture cook down. COOKING TIME: This did not take longer like others have suggested. I believe that longer cooking times have been due to spinach not being completely drained of water. SALT AND CAYENNE: I added a considerably smaller amount of both of these. I didn't add salt until the end and added it to taste. I only threw in a couple of pinches of cayenne because I knew my kids wouldn't touch it otherwise. :) Hope this helps! Happy cooking! Read More
(25)
Rating: 5 stars
01/11/2016
Great base recipie. Crockpot adaptation, put about 2lb frozen spinach into pot on low, simmered 1 can cocnut milk and 1 can chicken broth with toasted spices then poured over spinach. Simmerdd several hours. Used cubed queso fresco added when serving and was authentic and delicious. Will make again! Read More
(16)
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Rating: 3 stars
01/14/2015
It took longer than the recipe stated and needed much more ginger and other spices. The paneer is very chewy when prepared this way, it is better if one soaks it in water at least a day in the refridgerator after frying. The spinach will loose its color unless submerged in ice water after cooking. Goes great with saffron rice and mango chutney! Read More
(12)
Rating: 5 stars
03/07/2015
Quadruped this for 16 people. I was in a hurry so I subbed in thawed frozen spinach. Sqeezed all the water out with my hands. Kale for fenugreek leaves and ground up fenugreek spice (2 tbsp) instead. I wanted flavour that would be subtle sweet.Used 2 cans coconut milk 1.5 cups cereal cream. Knob of ginger the length of my ring finger garlic was larger than normal used 8 and topped up extra couple pinches of cimmamon. Dry cooked all spices on heat first. Used ghee snd coconut oil for frying.Himalayan pink salt added 1 tsp at very end. Then I blended it beyond crazy and since this was a dinner party I was going to (Indian Potluck on the fly )No time to make paneer! Took philly cream cheese with me and added it at the home I went for potluck after a quick reheat added a squirt of lemon and swirled it in. Then to the table. So far so good.;) Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
01/31/2016
Yum! Better than takeout and definitely a keeper. I added an extra bunch of spinach, used a large red onion for the onion, doubled the cream, and served it with brown basmati rice. Tip 1: If you can't find fresh fenugreek (check Indian and Asian markets), substitute watercress or more spinach and either a tablespoon of maple syrup or 1 teaspoon crushed fenugreek seeds. (Fenugreek leaves look and taste a bit like watercress but with a hint of celery and maple syrup and a slight nuttiness.) Tip 2: If you can't find paneer, substitute queso blanco, queso de freir, halloumi, or another firm cheese that will hold up to pan-frying. Tip 3: Use fresh spices. I opened a fresh jar of Penzeys garam masala and used cayenne and turmeric is purchased in the last month, all in the amounts called for, and even with the extra cream and spinach, mine was plenty hot (3.8 out of 5 stars). Read More
(10)