Crunchy palak paneer


Prep time
Less then 30 minutes
Cooking time
10 to 30 minutes


For the sauce

  • 2 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 7.5cm/3in piece root ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 whole red or green chilli
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 x 400g/14oz can tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 500g/1lb 2oz fresh spinach, washed
  • 2 tbsp water

For the paneer

  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 50g/2oz semolina
  • 200g/7oz paneer, cut into 1cm cubes
  • vegetable oil, for shallow frying
  • small handful coriander leaves, finely chopped, to garnish
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


  1. For the sauce, heat the ghee or oil in a saucepan, add the onion and cook for about three minutes until soft. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for a further minute.

  2. Add the ground cumin, ground coriander, ground turmeric, whole chilli and salt. Stir over the heat to release the flavours of the spices.

  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and sugar and simmer for ten minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, for the paneer, place the garam masala and semolina in a large bowl and mix well.

  5. Place the cubed paneer into the bowl and coat well with the spiced semolina.

  6. Pour the vegetable oil into a deep frying pan to a depth of about 0.5cm. When hot, add the coated paneer and fry until crisp and golden.

  7. Add the washed spinach and two tablespoons of water to the tomato sauce, stir in and cook until the spinach wilts.

  8. Fold the paneer into the sauce.

  9. To serve, garnish with the coriander and squeeze over the lemon juice.