Saag Paneer


“Saag” simply means greens, so feel free to sub in any green leafy vegetable you have on hand, from Swiss chard to collards. The aromatic combination of onion, garlic, ginger, and chiles, along with fragrant garam masala, hearty paneer, and a final drizzle of cream make this Indian classic unforgettable.

Saag Paneer
Photo: Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 4 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter), divided

  • 3/4 cup finely chopped white onion (from 1 medium onion)

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger (from a 1-inch piece)

  • 2 serrano chiles, seeded and finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)

  • 3 bunches mature fresh spinach, cleaned, trimmed, and thick stems discarded

  • 1 (10-ounce) bunch mustard greens, ribs discarded, leaves torn (about 8 cups)

  • 14 ounces paneer, cut into 1/2-by-1-inch cubes

  • 2 teaspoon garam masala

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

  • Warm naan or cooked basmati rice, for serving


  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of the ghee in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and chiles, and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add one-third of the spinach and one-third of the mustard greens to skillet, and cook, folding constantly, until wilted. Repeat in 2 batches with remaining spinach and greens until all are wilted and starting to soften.

  2. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender and softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender. Secure lid on blender, and remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over opening. Process until smooth, about 45 seconds, adding 2 tablespoons water if needed. Set aside.

  3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon ghee in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add paneer, and cook, flipping halfway through, until golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels, and set aside.

  4. Transfer pureed greens back to high-sided skillet, and place over medium-low heat. Add garam masala, salt, and black pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through and flavors have married, about 5 minutes. Add cream, and stir until smooth. Fold paneer into greens, and serve immediately with warm naan or basmati rice.

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