Indian Recipes Vegetarian

Saag Paneer

How to Make Saag Paneer

As a country that’s between 20% and 40% vegetarian, it’s unsurprising that India has a wide selection of vegetarian food to choose from. Paneer cheese is a particularly widespread alternative to meat, actively used across South Asian cuisine. Saag Paneer is a classic North Indian dish, which like mutter paneer has made its way firmly onto our plates in the West.

It’s not difficult to see why saag paneer is so universally popular. Though not graced with masses of flavour, paneer is a rich and creamy cheese. As a result it carries flavour beautifully, adding an aspect of luxury to its culinary host.

In Britain ‘saag’ is synonymous with spinach. They are inseparable terms. This isn’t the case in India. If you can lay your hands on some mustard or beetroot greens, for instance, get them in there. Doing so will give your saag paneer recipe a different, unique flavour you’ll not forget in a hurry.

Saag Paneer Recipe

Of course, if a vegetarian curry isn’t quite what you’re looking for, my recipe for Lamb Badam Pasanda is a delicious and simple alternative and it could even be served alongside your saag paneer.

Saag Paneer

Serves 3-4


  • 220g paneer cheese, cubed

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 250g spinach

  • 2 whole dried chillies, slit

  • a thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced

  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds, ground

  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt


  1. Heat the oil in a large, thick-based frying pan. Cook the paneer until golden brown and set aside, saving the oil in the pan

  2. To prepare the spinach simply place it in a large pan or bowl, cover with boiling water and quickly blanch. Transfer the softened leaves to a food processor and blend until smooth.

  3. In the remaining oil gently saute the slit chillies, ginger and garlic, followed after a minute or so by the cumin.

  4. Tip in the chopped fresh tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes until they have broken down. Incorporate the salt and prepared spinach.

  5. After a further 5 minutes add in the fried cheese, allow it to heat through. Finish the dish with 2 tbsp of natural yoghurt and serve alongside rice and flatbread.

Saag Paneer Recipe Recipe for Saag Paneer

Cost: Paneer is a delicious, creamy ingredient, which makes a frugal alternative to chicken or beef. Spinach is available fresh and cheap year round. As such, this recipe for saag paneer should set you back no more than £3.50. Less than £1 per portion.

41 replies on “Saag Paneer”

We are clearly on the same wavelength this week lol! I love me a bit of saag – the canned mustard greens are the way to go I believe according to my friend’s adopted Indian aunty.

Hi there. I just came across your blog because of a Guardian article on leftover bread that you had retweeted (thank you for that). What a gorgeous blog – I love discovering new (to me) people doing beautiful things with food. Sag paneer is one of my favourite dishes – love the recipe. The photo is absolutely mesmerising – fabulous!

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