Palak Paneer Loaded French Fries | A lightly spiced Indian style spinach gravy, with chunks of paneer cheese, spread on top of crisp baked fries, like an Indian style Poutine.
How about some epic loaded french fries to end off the summer with a delicious bang? These Palak Paneer Loaded French Fries will do that for you. I'm talking a lightly spiced, blended spinach sauce with chunks of Paneer cheese, all loaded up on top of some crispy oven-baked fries and topped with a drizzle of yogurt and some freshly torn cilantro leaves. Doesn't that sound fantastic?
If you love loaded fries as much as me – and I looooove them, you need to try these. Also, my, Loaded Greek Fries, Loaded Chili Fries, or my Parmesan Garlic Fries. They're all amazing, and in my opinion, you can't go wrong with any of those choices, but these Palak Paneer Fries are my new fave!
These loaded fries are:
- 100% tasty
- Fairly healthy really, if we don't overdo it on fries
- Full of healthy spinach (Iron, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C)
- Would be great with homemade french fries too
- A fun and different take on Indian food
For more information on the health benefits of spinach, check this BBC Good Food article.
How to Make Palak Paneer French Fries
Bake your fries according to the package instructions.
While the fries are baking, get the spinach out of the freezer and let it sit in a bowl to start thawing.
Dice the onion, chop up the hot pepper – carefully, and with gloves – and mince the garlic and ginger. Roughly chop the tomato.
Cube the paneer and get all of your spices ready to go, and the coconut milk opened up. All of this prep will make the cooking go smooth – I do this with pretty much every recipe I make.
How to Make Palak Paneer
Now that everything is prepped, heat a pan over medium. I use a cast-iron pan, use what you like to cook with.
Add the onion and the hot pepper, if using, and cook for about 7-8 minutes, or until softened. If using a habanero, be careful about breathing it in. I put a lid on. And I know I've warned about the habanero about 5 times in this post, but they are spicy! It does, however, totally mellow out in the finished dish.
Add the ginger, garlic, tomato and cumin seeds. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, until the tomato has softened and is well blended with the onion.
Add the spinach, toss a lid on and let cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the spinach has thawed and then cooked and heated through. Add the coconut milk and ground spices.
At this point, I stick an immersion blender in and blitz it all up. I like that it's less cleanup than a food processor or blender, but you could use either of those.
Set the pan over medium heat again and add the paneer. Let it cook for a few minutes or until heated through.
To serve, plate the french fries and then ladle the spinach gravy over top, making sure to add paneer cubes to each plate. Drizzle with some plain yogurt and scatter over some fresh torn cilantro leaves.
About Palak Paneer
Do I have to make it spicy?
No. I like spicy food, and I grow habanero peppers, so that's what I use. I have made this with jalapenos before though and red pepper flakes would probably also work. If you are really averse to spice, simply leave it out.
Can I use store-bought paneer?
Yes, that's what I used for these photos, although when I make this dish for company I do make the paneer as well. To make paneer, you simply scald milk and then add lemon juice to separate the curd from the whey. Wrap the curd in cheesecloth and let it drain and turn solid. Cut into cubes and use them in this recipe.
Do I have to serve it on fries?
No, you could serve it more traditionally with basmati rice or naan bread, or both. If you're watching carbs, try it with my Indian Spice Cauliflower Rice.
Can I use frozen spinach?
Yes, that's what I use because I like to have frozen spinach on hand at all times. I add the spinach in frozen and then put a lid on to let it thaw and then heat through.
Can I use cream instead of coconut milk?
Yes, you'll probably need less than a cup though. Start off with a little bit, tasting and adding more as needed.
Palak Paneer Loaded French Fries
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- ½ large white onion (diced)
- ½ hot pepper (I use Habanero, see notes)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 large tomato (roughly chopped)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 250 grams frozen spinach
- 1 cup canned coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground garam masala
- 1 14 oz brick paneer cheese (cut into cubes)
- Baked french fries (for serving)
- Cilantro and extra cream or plain yogurt (for serving, optional)
- Bake the french fries according to the package instructions.
- Heat oil over medium. Add the onion and habanero pepper (or pepper of your choice). Cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. (If using habanero, be careful not to breathe it in, it's extremely spicy)
- Add garlic and ginger and cumin seeds and tomato. Cook for another 3 or 4 minutes.
- Add frozen spinach and a lid. Cook 3 – 5 minutes, or until spinach is both thawed and heated through. Add coconut milk and ground spices. Blend. (I use a immersion blender, you can use a standing blender if you prefer)
- And the paneer and a lid and Cook 5 minutes, or until warmed through.
- To serve, plate the french fries and then cover with the spinach curry and paneer cubes.
- Optional: Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and either heavy creamy or plain yogurt.
Nutritional information is an estimate. Values vary based on products used.