Saag paneer

I know I’m supposed to tell you that this recipe was etched on to a banana leaf for me by some village elder in the remote backwaters of Kerala, but that would be a lie. It is a curry that I made one evening when dinner needed to be on the table fast. And it was. Less than 20 minutes fast, which is way more impressive than a banana leaf.

So I present to you my recipe for a sort of saag paneer. In fact, there is no ‘sort-off’ about it, for saag simply means ‘greens’. In the suburbs of Mysore, it tends to be spinach or mustard greens, in the Little Pink Kitchen spinach or chard. Frozen spinach also works really well, and paneer lasts for ages unopened, so you always have dinner to hand.

So there is no romantic story, no banana leaves, but there is a incredibly easy dinner which you can keep the ingredients for to hand most of the time. I count that as an utter winner. I do hope you enjoy x


Saag paneer



  • 200g spinach (or about 4 pucks frozen)
  • 1 onion (red or green)
  • 1 pack paneer
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chilli powder, to taste
  • 200ml boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 30ml double cream


1. Roughly chop the onion.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a saucepan and add the cumin seeds.
3. Add the onion to the pan and stir well.
4. Cook for 7 minutes over a low heat, stirring often.
5. Add the spinach, spices, salt and boiling water and cover with a lid.
6. Cook for five minutes.
7. Transfer to a blender with the cream and blend.
8. Chop the paneer into chunks.
9. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan.
10. Add the paneer to the pan, cooking until lightly browned.
11. Add the blended spinach and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
12. Serve, with naan and salad.

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