Palak Paneer is a famous Indian delicacy made with Indian cottage cheese and pureed spinach. Learn the step-by-step mushroom palak paneer recipe that is not only healthy but extremely delicious. Gluten-free and vegan options included.
What is Mushroom Palak Paneer?
Spinach = Palak in hindi
Indian cottage cheese = paneer
Palak paneer is a rich North Indian delicacy made with pureed palak and paneer. This is a much lighter dish than matar paneer curry. so as mushroom palak where mushrooms are simmered in a rich palak gravy.
This recipe serves good for both palak paneer and mushroom palak.
While traditional palak paneer is adored by everyone who loves Indian food, Mushroom Palak paneer is healthier version replacing some of the paneer cubes with mushrooms to increase he filling power with fewer calories.
When you make few alterations like this for your daily food, you naturally pave the way for a healthy weight loss without punishing yourself with meaningless diets. Being able to enjoy your favourite foods without compromising your health goals is so rewarding, isn’t it?
My recipe for healthy mushroom palak paneer is
✅made using less oil and without any addition of heavy cream or butter.
✅ideally low calorie than regular palak paneer due to addition of mushrooms and no deep-frying involved.
✅easy to prepare without involving so many complex steps.
✅can be served with rice or flat bread like roti or naan.
✅suitable for weight loss and calorie counting diets, enjoy guilt-free.
Ingredients for Mushroom Palak Paneer
Spinach – which is palak in hindi. Use fresh spinach ideally without the matured stems to avoid bitterness for the curry. If using baby spinach, you could use stems too.
Paneer – indian cottage cheese. use fresh paneer as much as possible. you could also use tofu instead for a vegan palak paneer.
Mushrooms – which are naturally low-calorie vegetable .Use any kind of mushrooms like white or chestnut. Baby mushrooms are perfect even.
Onions and Tomato – use white or red onion but pick up nice red ripened tomato.
Green chilli – if you can’t tolerate the spice, use either chilli powder or this.
Ginger garlic paste – a must to any luxurious Indian curry.
bay leaf, clove, green cardamom, garlic pods add depth to the palak paneer gravy.
spice powders like cumin, coriander, red chilli, garam masala.
Kasuri methi – dried fenugreek balances all the flavors nicely.
Lime or lemon juice which is optional.
Vegetable oil – I used sunflower oil, you can use any cooking oil of your choice.
Full or low-fat milk to substitute the heavy cream. you could use any plant based milk also for a vegan palak paneer.
Step by step photo recipe for healthy palak paneer
Few people use sautéing instead of blanching the spinach, I don’t want to use additional oil. Also before starting to make this healthy palak paneer, soak the store bought paneer in warm water for 10 minutes, also clean mushrooms and soak in warm water.
1- To a pot of boiling clean water add washed spinach leaves, a pinch of salt and switch off the flame. Blanch them for at least 5 to 7 minutes or until the leaves are wilted.
2- Immediately transfer the leaves to a bowl of ice-cold water which helps in retaining the green colour for the spinach.
3- To a blender jar, add drained spinach leaves, chopped tomatoes, green chilli, garlic pods, cloves and cardamom.
4- Blend into a fine puree , leavings the puree little bit coarse also adds nice texture to the curry.
5 – Heat oil in a pan and add bay leaf, chopped onions. Fry them until the onions turn pink or translucent.
6 – Add in the pureed spinach mixture nd cook it covered for at least 5 min on medium to low flame with a lid covering to avoid spluttering of the curry.
7- Once the puree is cooked and changed into thick olive green color, add red chilli powder,cumin and corainder powders along with salt and mix well. cook for another couple of minutes until the spices are cooked.
8- Add ½ cup of water and cook on medium flame for 5 minutes.
9 – Add paneer cubes, washed and softened mushrooms(soaked in hot water for a couple of minutes) and mix well. cook for 5 minutes
10- add in garam masala and kasuri methi, give a good mix and simmer for couple of minutes.
11- Switch off the flame, add in milk, optional lemon juice, give a good stir.
12- Serve with rice or roti.
How to serve Mushroom Palak Paneer?
This is best eaten with rotis that are made with whole wheat flour and an accompainig simple salad made of red onions, cucumbers and carrot.
Serve with basmati rice or brown rice, millets, quinoa and even couscous. taste great with green peas pulao too.
Can I make this vegan?
While palak paneer is traditonally made with indian cottage cheese, a equally tasty dish can be ade using tofu instead. Make sure you season the tofu pieces with a bit of salt, pepper and red chilli powder before adding to the curry.
Replace milk with any plant-based milk. I wouldn’t suggest using cashew paste if you are eating this for weight loss.
Tips to make healthy mushroom palak paneer
- use fresh and young spinach leaves to avoid a bitter palak sauce.
- Use ripened tomatoes to balance the spices and any bitterness of the green leaves.
- If using store-bought paneer, soak them in warm water for at least 10 minutes to soften. No need of frying the paneer unless you want to add more calories 🙂
- Add in more mushrooms to make the palak paneer healthy and more filling for fewer calories.
- Skip one green chilli and reduce chilli powder for a less spicy version.
- add full-fat milk to make the curry creamier, so much better than adding heavy cream!
Mushroom palak paneer stays good in fridge for at least 3-4 days. just reheat when ready to consume.
You may notice the gravy thickens as time passes, if required add few drops of water while re-heating in microwave or stove top.
You can freeze the curry provided you consume the curry within the expiry date of paneer.
What to do with leftover palak gravy?
- Often times there is so much of gravy leftover and here are few ideas
- Use it as a spread on dosas, use as sandwich filler like pesto.
- you could even mix the gravy while making dough for chapati to make a tasty and healthy palak roti.
- use in pulaos white sautéing the vegetables.