Spinach curry with paneer

Spinach curry is one of the most popular Indian curries not only for Indians but also for the people across the globe. It is a traditional winter curry prepared using leafy greens & cottage cheese (paneer). Spinach curry with paneer is commonly prepared using palak (Indian spinach), whereas saag paneer is prepared using mustard leaves. Here I have prepared spinach curry with the South Indian spinach namely Amaranth leaves (mulai keerai). Actually it is as delicious as palak paneer and creamier than palak paneer.

keerai Spinach curry with paneer
Indian leafy greens

Palak is one of the most hot-selling and fast-disappearing greens at the vegetable shops in our locality and it is used for making palak paneer. But I don’t see any valid reason to leave our native leafy greens untouched and queue up for quite a few bundles of Delhi palak being sold like hot cakes. Actually we can make creamier curry using native greens such as arai keerai, mulaikeerai, thandu keerai, ponnanganni keerai, pasalai keerai, etc. But a few bitter greens like murungai keerai, manathakkali keerai, or agathi keerai are not suitable for making this curry.

meals-with-palak-paneer-1 Spinach curry with paneer
Dinner with leafy greens curry

Now I have prepared spinach curry using mulaikeerai that goes very well with naan, roti, chappathi, parantha, or pulav.

Spinach curry with Paneer:

pp-1-scaled Spinach curry with paneer
Greens curry with cottage cheese

Ingredients:

Leafy greens 2 bundles
Cottage cheese triangles (or cubes/ diamonds)as desired
Ghee1 tsp
Cumin seeds1/2 tsp
Onion1 (large)
Garlic5 cloves
Ginger1/2 “
Tomatoes2
Green chillies3
Cumin seeds powder1/2 tsp
Curry powder (I used Everest Kitchen King masala)1 tsp
Dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)1/2 tsp (optional)
Salt1 tsp
palak-paneer-ingredients Spinach curry with paneer

How to prepare spinach curry with paneer:

1Wash the greens and steam for 5 minutes.
Blend them at room temperature along with green chillies until pureed.
2Chop onion & tomatoes finely.
Mince ginger & garlic using fine-toothed grater.
3Heat a pan with ghee in medium flame.
Add cumin seeds, minced ginger & garlic and saute for a minute.
Then add finely chopped onion & saute until translucent.
Add cumin seeds powder and fry for 10 sec.
add chopped tomatoes and saute until mushy.
4Add curry powder followed by water (200 ml) and bring it to boil in high flame.
Add paneer triangles, cover the pan and simmer for 5-7 min.
5Add pureed greens and gently mix well without breaking the paneer triangles.
Simmer greens curry for 2-3 minutes and remove from fire.
6Serve greens curry with cottage cheese triangles with naan, roti, chapathi, or pulao.
palak-paneer Spinach curry with paneer
Mulaikeerai paneer masala recipe

Cooking Tips:

1Adding ghee to leafy greens would elevate this dish to a whole new level as greens & ghee (keerai & nei) is the delicious pair.
2I usually add 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder and fry along with cumin powder for adding bright green color to this curry, but here I missed to add it. It may sound strange that stir-frying turmeric powder enhances the green color of leafy vegetables, but it really works.
3Some may like to add fresh cream to make this curry rich & creamy, but I prefer to increase the volume of greens puree to make it creamy and also use ghee in place of oil for the delicious aroma.
4I don’t like to use red chilli powder in place of green chillies as it changes the color of greens curry.
5We can replace paneer (cottage cheese) with tofu, baby potatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower florets, baby corn, or textured soya in this curry.
palak-paneer-veg Spinach curry with paneer
Substitutes for paneer in greens curry

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  1. My husband’s grandmother loved curry – and she lived a very long and wonderful life (she got to be 102 years old!). So for sure it is a good idea to look closer at curry recipes! 🙂
    (besides – they taste good!! 😉 🙂 )
    So I am really looking forward to having my mother over for Christmas. 🙂 🙂 Yes, dear Megala, I have so many creative projects right now, and my husband is busy too – and I don’t dare asking my parents-in-law… so it’ll have to be my mother. 🙂 🙂
    I think I will photograph her face when I will ask her to make this soup! You see, she is a very traditional Belarussian, and she makes very tasty dishes – but only with local, traditional recipes. I have tried several times to give her oriental spices, but… she never uses them. But she loves me – so I am sure she will do it, when I ask her to 🙂 🙂
    And it will be a new and healthy and good experience – for both her and I! 🙂 🙂 🙂
    Thank you so much for your enchanting and interesting recipes, dear Megala! Wishing you much joy and inspiration, great health and love – for you and your loved ones!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    1. I’m so delighted to read your comment, and it evokes fond memories of cooking with both my mother & mother-in-law during festivals and vacations.
      I usually act like a vegetable chef in my mother’s kitchen & saute chef in my mother-in-law’s kitchen. It is really fun cooking our favorite recipes together as a family and enjoying tasty morsels in the process. 🙂
      Wishing you and your mother a great time in your kitchen in this Christmas. 🙂
      Thanks so much for reading this post and sharing a lovely comment. 🙂

  2. Wow, looks delicious, Megala! 🙂 Great idea for my husband as he loves curry like that! Thank you for sharing! Have to look for proper ingredients around here

    1. Thanks Vero, I’m so glad to see you here. I guess Canito has grown into a charming boy now. 🙂

  3. Amazing post, Megala! Local greens and paneer curry? Just how versatile can a recipe be! I like Mulai keerai too! But I’m going to be busy trying this fabulous recipe with all the other local keerai you have written.Great way to make the family eat greens!!

    1. Yes, children would love to take this curry with paneer rather than keerai masiyal. Please let me know how your family liked this avatar. 🙂
      Thank you so much.

    1. There is no secret ingredient in this recipe, so it must be authentic everywhere. 🙂 Thanks so much.

  4. I love mulai keerai – really nice recipe. I never used ghee when cooking mulai keerai, always used coconut oil only. I should definitely try this

  5. I do LOVE this dish! When I go to restaurant, I always order Greens Curry. Mostly in the States, they use spinach a lot in the dish. Love it!

  6. Oh my goodness Megala. This sounds so good! I love that you gave us so many variations/options for prep, and veggies. It makes it nice if you don’t have one ingredient, and that you have given us ideas for others to use. YUM!!!

    1. Yes, it is just a mind block that we need to stick with a particular leafy vegetable only, there are plenty of better options available for both the greens & cottage cheese.
      I’m glad you liked this post, thank you so much for your continuous support. 🙂
      Have a great week ahead!

  7. I love that you experiment with different, more local and less used ingredients. It looks so good! So many of your meals are so vibrantly colored and inviting. I imagine your table looks festive and like a happy place to be all year. Thank you for sharing!

  8. (EN) I really appreciated that you preferred local products. Thanks a lot for sharing, Megala ?
    (IT) Ho apprezzato molto che hai preferito prodotti locali. Grazie molte per la condivisione Megala ?

  9. Awesome with greens ? and goodness loaded for sure ! I would definitely love with roti? and ghee rice ?
    Hope u will have a great Sunday there?

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