Friday, February 18, 2011

Low Carb Meals:Faking Palak Paneer the Quick and Easy Way

For those of you who have not yet had Indian food, Palak Paneer consists of cubes of cheese and fresh spinach in a tomato sauce. It's yummy. It's vegetarian for those of us who want to do a low carb vegetarian meal and I pulled it together in 30 minutes, from start to finish.

While this Palak Paneer is not exactly authentic as I had to make some substitutions and took liberties with spice choices, but it is delicious, easy to make and a great addition to the low carb cooking repertoire. It builds on the Indian Butter Chicken recipe I posted previously.

(By the way, for the uninitiated who want to try Indian cuisine, but don't have an Indian restaurant nearby, Amy's brand of organic frozen meals has a few Indian dishes. You could try one or two of those to see if you like the flavors.)

Ingredients for 6 to 8 servings
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 tbsp. ginger, minced (peel the remaining root and freeze for future use)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tsps. garam masala
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 cans tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken broth (vegetable broth if you're going for a strictly vegetarian meal)
  • 1 package fresh organic spinach
  • 1 cup cream (optional, traditionally palak paneer has no cream, but we happen to like it with cream, it's your call.)
  • 1 tbsps. butter
  • 1 pkg. Queso Fresco cheese (this is a Mexican cheese that is similar to the Indian paneer cheese, but unlike paneer, Queso Fresco is readily available at most grocery stores.)
Other ideas: Grated zucchini would be a good way to boost the veggie content of this dish.


1.Saute onion, 3 tbsp. ginger and jalapeno pepper in butter until browned.

2.Add in 2 minced garlic cloves, 4 tsps. garam masala, 2 tsp. chili powder, 2 tsp. cardamom, 1 tsp. coriander. Saute for 1 minute.

3.Pour in chicken broth and scrape bottom of pan to get up the brown bits.

4. Add in spinach (plus zucchini if you're using it) and let simmer until wilted.

5. Add tomato paste and stir until combined.

6.Add in cream followed by cheese, stirring until warm. Note: Don't 'cook' it with the cheese as the cheese will get soft. Add the cheese, stir to heat and remove from stove.

7. Serve over cauliflower (mashed, riced, etc...).


  1. Nice recipe. Any more low carb recipes?

  2. Jesus.this is anything but palak paneer.Palak paneer is cottage cheese pieces cooked in spinach gravy.