Authentic Saag Paneer Recipe -
Authentic Saag Paneer Recipe
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How to Make Saag Paneer
See how to make authentic Indian creamed spinach. See more
  • READY IN 1 hr

Authentic Saag Paneer

Recipe by  

"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 Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    45 mins

    1 hr


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Stir in spinach and fenugreek, cream, paneer cubes, and salt to taste. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
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  • Cook's Note:
  • You can substitute coconut milk for the cream.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Nov 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.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jan 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!

Apr 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.

Feb 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.

Nov 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!

Jan 22, 2014

Great recipe. You can feel comfortable making substitutions based on what you have on hand, with excellent results. I omitted the fenugreek, garam masala, and turmeric and used cardamom pods, coriander seeds & ground cumin instead. Doing so just changes the flavor ever-so-slightly, like the differences between saag at two different Indian restaurants. Also I didn't bother to puree the spinach - I bought pre-chopped, frozen spinach & it worked perfectly. Delicious!

Jan 11, 2015

Followed the recipe exactly and found it to be bland and under-spiced. Spinach was the only flavor that you could taste.

Mar 06, 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. ;)


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  • Calories
  • 299 kcal
  • 15%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 18 g
  • 6%
  • Cholesterol
  • 29 mg
  • 10%
  • Fat
  • 19.9 g
  • 31%
  • Fiber
  • 5.2 g
  • 21%
  • Protein
  • 17.1 g
  • 34%
  • Sodium
  • 441 mg
  • 18%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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