Saag Paneer Raheel Mirza Masterchef

Saag Paneer & Garlic Naan by Masterchef’s Raheel Mirza

By Raheel Mirza (@raheelmirzacooking)

Saag Paneer Raheel Mirza Masterchef

Credit: Raheel Mirza

When made beautifully, saag paneer is one of those indulgent dishes that keeps you coming back for more. The earthy flavour of the spinach and the layer of spices combined with the creaminess of the paneer makes for a taste sensation like no other.

I’ve put together a complete recipe, which includes pairing this classic dish with some fresh and fluffy naan bread generously slathered in garlic butter, that will have you making this time and time again.

This will succeed in converting even the most keen carnivorous friends and family to a vegetarian mindset, even if only for one mouth-watering meal.



  • Approx. 300g block of paneer cheese cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil (or vegetable oil or olive oil)
  • 2 heaped tsp cumin seeds

Base Sauce

  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil (or vegetable oil, olive oil or ghee)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic/ ginger paste (or 3 garlic cloves crushed and 1 inch ginger grated)
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped (or half can of chopped tomatoes)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • Bunch of coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 heaped tsp ground coriander powder
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves


  • Approx. 250g bag of washed and ready to eat spinach
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground coriander powder
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Garlic Naan

  • 400g self-raising flour
  • 180g plain natural yoghurt
  • 100ml milk, slightly warmed
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp carom or nigella seeds
  • 100g butter
  • 7 garlic cloves crushed/minced


  1. Firstly, prepare the dough for the garlic naan. Mix all the ingredients for the dough including 3 of the crushed garlic cloves while putting the remaining 4 crushed garlic cloves and butter in a small saucepan and leave to one side for now. Cover the dough and leave in a warm place for 20mins-30mins.
  2. Next, prepare the paneer. Heat 1 tbsp rapeseed oil in a wok or large frying pan over a medium heat.
  3. Add the cumin seeds and allow to splutter a little and then add the cubed paneer. Fry for 5 minutes until the cubes are browned on most sides. Drain onto kitchen towel and put to one side.
  4. In the same wok or frying pan add the sliced garlic cloves, red chilli flakes and cumin seeds and fry for 1 min and then add the spinach leaves plus 1 tbsp of water.
  5. After a further minute add the salt and ground coriander and cook the spinach until it wilts right down into a small mass of green leaves.
  6. Take out of the pan and put into a blender with the juices and blitz it into a fine puree. Set to one side.
  7. In a large saucepan, add the oil for the base sauce and once hot add the onions and garlic/ ginger paste and brown for 5-10 mins.
  8. Once browned, add the tomatoes and cook for 5 mins and then add all the spices except for the coriander leaves, garam masala and dried fenugreek leaves.
  9. Cook this mixture for approx. 10mins until the oil separates out. Add a splash of water to stop it from sticking.
  10. Now add in the spinach puree and cook out for 5 mins and finally stir through the cooked paneer.
  11. Stir through the chopped coriander, garam masala and dried fenugreek leaves and cover and turn of the heat whilst you make the garlic naan.
  12. Take a small ball of dough and roll it out on a floured surface to resemble a naan shape.
  13. Cook this on a dry frying pan or tawa on both sides for about 2-3 min each until the dough is cooked and slightly browned.
  14. Gently melt the butter and remaining crushed garlic in a saucepan and brush a little of this garlicky butter over each naan as they come off warm from the tawa.
    Serve and enjoy!

Raheel Mirza BBC MasterchefI am passionate about cooking and love to combine my flair for cooking with my natural ability to train and coach people. I enjoy eating, I enjoy feeding and I enjoy creating.

Food is life and I firmly believe that it can bring people together from all walks of life. I believe anyone can learn to cook. I get most of my joy from creating recipes and then watching the reactions of those eating my food.

I cook mainly for my family – me, my wife Nadia, and my two daughters, Isla and Ivvah. Isla, my eldest daughter, has recently started delivering some online virtual cookery and baking classes on Google Meets and this has proved very popular.

Having appeared on MasterChef earlier this year, it is now time to make the most of this passion and hobby of mine. Follow me on my journey @raheelmirzacooking and join me on my Saturday night virtual cookalongs.

If you have any recipes you want published, Contact Us now. We’d love to hear from you!

Share With:
No Comments

Leave A Comment