Saag Paneer

Recipes/Student Living by

This is my mother’s easier and healthier version of the classic Indian spinach dish that can be adapted to suit whatever you have in your kitchen. Paneer is an Indian fresh cheese that is fully vegetarian and a good source of protein. If you want a vegan alternative, substitute white potatoes for paneer. Make a day of it and go up to Parc-Extension for ingredients, and pick up some extras to freeze for later!


  • 2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp garam masala (Indian spice mix)
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 package chopped frozen spinach
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 2 tbsp diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
  • 1 cup paneer, cubed


  1. Microwave the spinach for five minutes until soft, and save the water.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan, and make sure the bottom of the pan is fully coated.
  3. Add the cumin seeds. When they start moving in the oil, add the tumeric and stir.
  4. Add the red onion and red pepper flakes. Continue stirring.
  5. Stir in the spinach, spinach water, ginger, garam masala and tomatoes.
  6. Cover and let sit for fifteen minutes, ensuring there is enough liquid in the pot. Add a bit of water to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
  7. Add the paneer and let sit for another 10 minutes.
  8. Add more garam masala and red pepper flakes depending on your desired level of spice.
  9. Serve with rice, naan, or pita.   *It is possible to substitute 1 tsp of curry powder for garam masala and 1 tsp ground cumin in place of cumin seeds.