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American-style Saag Paneer


This is a little less spicy than traditional Indian saag paneer, and uses easy-to-find ingredients. It’s likely to become a family favorite!


  • About 8 to 12 ounces freshly made paneer (about half a recipe)
  • 1/3 cup ghee
  • 3 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained to remove excess liquid, or 2 pounds fresh baby spinach, chopped, lightly steamed, and drained well 
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced fine
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons homemade curry powder (see recipe below)
  • 1 cup thick homemade yogurt 
  • Cooked basmati rice 



  1. Make the curry powder. 
  2. Melt ghee in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cut paneer into 1/2-inch cubes and sauté in hot ghee until golden brown on each side. Turn the pieces of paneer carefully to avoid having scrambled paneer. Remove paneer from skillet, drain on a paper towel and set aside. Leave remaining ghee in skillet.
  3. Add onions, garlic, and ginger to ghee in skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until onions are tender. Place in blender container and blend to a paste-like consistency. Put back into skillet and stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons curry powder, depending on how spicy you like things.
  4. Add spinach to spice paste and gently heat over medium heat until hot. Stir in reserved paneer. Remove from heat and stir in yogurt. Serve over hot basmati rice.

Curry Powder Ingredients 


  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 dried red chilies (omit chilies if you want a mild / no-nightshade curry powder)


Curry Powder Instructions

  1. Add the spices (not the chilies) to a dry skillet and toast over medium heat until spices are fragrant, but not browned.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool. Stir in the chilies (f using), broken in pieces, and seeds discarded. Place the mixture in a coffee or spice grinder and blend until powdered.
  3. Stir in 1 tablespoon powdered turmeric.

Use immediately or store in a tightly covered jar for up to 1 month.


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American-style Saag Paneer

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