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palak paneer dhaba style recipe without boiling spinach

Palak Paneer Dhaba Style (Restaurant Style)

Delicious, creamy and easy way to make palak paneer curry at home that gives you the restaurant style (Punjabi dhaba style) taste, but this is more easy to make at home as we do not blanch the spinach leaves (you can do so if you wish).
This palak paneer curry goes great with chapathi, poori, rice, pulao etc.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Keyword palak paneer
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 373kcal


  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 large sized onion
  • 1 large tomato
  • salt as needed
  • 400 grams paneer cubed
  • ¼ cup cashews
  • 3 cups water for gravy (may adjust a little)
  • water for soaking cashews, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 tablespoons extra oil or as needed to lightly fry the paneer, optional

spice powders used

  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves powdered)

whole spices used

  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds


To prepare the gravy

  • Peel the onion and slice the onion in thin long slices.
  • Chop the tomato in small sized pieces, keep this separately from the chopped onions.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan, lightly fry the cumin seeds.
  • Add the cinnamon stick, lightly fry and add the chopped onion, saute the onions until the onions are lightly browned, which will take around 15 to 20 minutes of time. You do not need to caramelize the onions, but sauteing the onions really well until its browned is necessary.
  • Meanwhile soak the cashews in enough water for at least 15 to 30 minutes which will soften the cashews.
  • Wash the spinach and keep aside.
  • Take about half of the sauteed onions (do not use all) and transfer it to a blender. Also add the washed spinach, soaked cashews (may discard the water used for soaking) and also the 3 cups of water and blend the contents until very smooth. You may also blend the cashews separately in very little water if that is more easy for you.
  • Meanwhile add the ginger garlic paste also to the pan with the remaining sauteed onions and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes until the raw smell goes away.
  • Also add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and saute the mixture until the tomatoes are lightly fried which will take around 3 to 4 minutes in low heat.
  • Add the butter to the pan, and as the butter is melted, mix well and transfer the blended spinach cashew mixture to the pan and mix in with the tomato onion mixture in the pan. Now the base for the gravy is prepared.
  • Heat the contents and bring the mixture to a boil and cook in medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Close the pan with lid, reduce the heat to low and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes or until the spinach gravy is cooked enough.
  • Add enough salt and add the following spice powders - turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala powder, mix everything well. Cook this mixture for another 1 to 2 minutes in low heat so the gravy is well blended with the spices. Now the gravy is ready, let us prepare the paneer for the curry.

To fry the paneer

  • Heat enough oil (about 4 tablespoons or as need) in an iron skillet or pan or kadai and add the sliced paneer cubes and enough salt. If possible, layer the paneer cubes in a single layer and wait until one side of the paneer cubes get lightly fried. Once one side is enough fried so that it won't stick anymore to the skillet, carefully and gently flip the paneer cubes using a good quality spatula and fry the other side too. Frying the paneer will take around 4 to 5 minutes of time in low heat.
  • Once the paneer is lightly fried, transfer the fried paneer to a plate lined with paper towel so it will absorb any excess oil. Now the paneer is ready to be used in the curry.

To prepare the curry

  • Transfer the fried paneer to the prepared gravy, gently mix in.
  • Cover and cook the contents in low heat for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the kasoori methi and mix well.
  • Finally add the heavy cream and mix with the curry. Now switch off the stove and keep the pan away from heat. The delicious palak paneer or spinach paneer curry is ready to be served! Enjoy with rice, pulao, roti, chapati or poori as you wish!


We did not blanch the spinach leaves to make this palak paneer, but you may blanch the spinach leaves before grinding the leaves, if you wish to do so. Also you may add about ¼ cup of fresh cilantro leaves (coriander leaves ) which can be grind along with the palak leaves if you like to add them.


Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 59mg | Potassium: 129mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 1590IU | Vitamin C: 4.4mg | Calcium: 350mg | Iron: 1.4mg