Saag Paneer

Saag Paneer pairs paneer cheese with greens like spinach, mustard and/or kale with a blend of spices, aromatics and tomato. You can also use radish tops – what a great way to re-purpose something that might just end up in the compost bin!

Use pre-made paneer, or why not make your own? The fresh flavor is definitely worth the effort. Find the recipe here.


  • ½ pound paneer, cut into ¾ inch cubes 
  • 5-6 cups greens – spinach, kale, mustard, radish tops – stringy/hard stems removed 
  • 1 serrano or jalapeno chili, de-seeded and de-veined and chopped 
  • 6-7 garlic cloves, minced – divided 
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and minced 
  • 2 Tbsp ghee, butter or vegetable oil 
  • ½ tsp whole cumin seeds 
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 roma tomato, finely chopped 
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves 
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric 
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika 
  • ¼ – ½ tsp garam masala powder 
  • 3/4 – 1 cup water – divided 
  • 8-10 whole raw unsalted cashews 
  • 2 Tbsp cream or coconut cream, for garnish 


  1. Fill a large pot with water. Add greens and swirl around to clean thoroughly. Scoop greens out by hand so any debris stays at bottom of pot. Place greens in salad spinner or colander, spinning/draining out as much water as possible. Roughly chop greens. 
  2. Heat ½ Tbsp ghee/oil in pan. Sauté 2 minced garlic cloves, chili, cashews and greens for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. Blend with ¼ cup water, adding more as need to get a smooth, thick purée. Set aside. 
  3. Clean out the pan and use it to heat remaining 1 ½ Tbsp ghee/oil. Add whole spices. When they begin to sizzle, add onion and cook until translucent/golden. Add minced ginger and remaining minced garlic, sauté 1-2 minutes.  
  4. Add tomato and sauté until it breaks down/turns mushy. Add ground spices and sauté about 2 minutes more, until you can smell spices. Add remaining water to pan and cook until onions are completely soft. You should still have some water in the pan. 
  5. Lower flame, add puréed spinach, tofu and cook until it just begins to bubble, 2-3 minutes. If sauce is too thick add a few Tbsp hot water. Add in paneer and mix well. Remove from heat to a serving bowl and garnish with cream of choice.