Saag paneer

saag paneer

What’s not to love about saag paneer? Once you try it, you’ll be coming back for more.  And it’s full of lots of good stuff for runners – spinach, garlic, dairy and spices – and quick and easy to make. This is the lazy version as I don’t cream the spinach  but feel free to do so if you prefer a smoother texture.

And what I love about this recipe is nothing goes to waste – any paneer or buttermilk left over can be stored in the freezer for next time. Just divide up into freezer bags with the required amounts for future use.

Serves 2-4 depending on what else you’re serving it with. This dish is surprisingly filling so keep serving sizes on the smaller side….though you will be going back for more.


2 medium onions, roughly chopped

2 tbs oil or ghee

3 cloves garlic, smashed

½ tsp whole cumin seeds

½ tsp chilli flakes

½ tsp fine-grain sea salt

1 tsp garam masala

50 ml of buttermilk

125g of paneer, chopped into cubes

200g baby leaf spinach, washed and drained

2 or 3 lemons, juiced – add in to taste

Chives or chive blossoms to serve


Serve with rice or roti


  • Place 1 tbs of oil or ghee into a large saucepan over a medium heat. When hot, add spinach and stir until it begins to collapse. You may need to do this in a few additions. Once collapsed, remove from the heat and drain. Set aside.
  • Give the pan a quick rinse. Add the rest of the oil then place over a medium heat. Once heated, add the chopped onion and cook for a minute or so.
  • Add the garlic, cumin seeds, chilli flakes and salt. Once the onion is translucent, add the garam masala. Reduce the heat a little and add in the spinach, stirring gently. Gradually stir in the buttermilk and bring to a simmer. Slowly stir in the lemon juice to taste.
  • Gently fold in the paneer.
  • Serve, finishing with a sprinkling of chives.


Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s cookbook, Near and Far: Recipes from home and travel or go check out her website 101 Cookbooks



Let me know how you get on with it and/or your variations on this recipe! Happy eating!

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