Methi Malai Paneer (Creamy Fenugreek and Spinach with Cheese)

  • Serves

    serves 4-6


This creamy dish from Toronto-based Indian cookbook author Smita Chandra makes a phenomenal main dish with oven-baked naan bread on the side. It's made with the fresh Indian cheese called paneer, peas, and whole peeled tomatoes, along with plenty of tangy fresh fenugreek greens, and it's lavishly spiced with turmeric, coriander, garam masala, and more. If you can't find fenugreek greens, kale, Swiss chard, or another green can be substituted. This recipe first appeared as part of the digital edition of our August/September 2014 special India issue.


  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 14 cup cashews
  • 12 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 small red onion, minced
  • 8 oz. baby spinach
  • 5 oz. fenugreek, trimmed and roughly chopped, or 4 cups frozen chopped fenugreek, defrosted
  • 4 oz. paneer, coarsely grated
  • 12 cup frozen peas
  • 14 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 12 tsp. red chile powder, such as cayenne
  • 12 tsp. garam masala
  • 12 tsp. ground coriander
  • 12 tsp. ground cumin
  • 12 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 3 canned whole, peeled tomatoes, drained and crushed by hand
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Naan, for serving (optional)


Step 1

Heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high. Cook cashews and cumin seeds until fragrant and seeds begin to pop, 1–2 minutes. Add garlic and onion; cook until golden, 3–4 minutes. Add spinach and fenugreek; cook until wilted, 2–3 minutes. Add paneer, peas, cream, butter, cayenne, garam masala, coriander, cumin, turmeric, tomatoes, salt, and ¼ cup water; boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook, covered, and stirring occasionally, until mixture is slightly thickened, about 25 minutes. Serve with naan, if you like.

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