Most people mistake palak and saag paneer for the same dish, but they are two different dishes entirely.
These curries are not too different, but the major difference between palak paneer and saag paneer is their taste and type of vegetables used for their preparation.
I hope you can stick with me as we discuss the major differences between the Palak Paneer vs Saag Paneer.
What Is Palak Paneer?
Palak paneer is a combination dish usually made using spinach leaves, referred to as the palak. You need a few major ingredients when making your palak paneer dish, but sometimes, people add their own few ingredients to give it the particular taste that they want.
The taste of the palak paneer differs from that of the saag paneer, and that is because many leafy vegetables are added to the saag paneer.
In the US, the palak paneer recipe can be recognized as the green paneer as many other green vegetables are added and not just the spinach due to the unavailability of fresh spinach leaves there. You can enjoy it with side dishes like roti, bread, naan, or kulcha when serving this meal.
See Also: 7 Best Collard Greens Substitutes
What Is Saag Paneer?
Saag paneer is a recent invention in the Indian food culture. It is one of Punjab’s most popular food, and the dish is also common in some other eastern Indian states like West Bengal and Odisha.
This recipe is not constant also as you would find different versions of the saag paneer in Odisha.
Some popular saag variations include the saag paneer, aloo saag, saag gosht, and saag chicken. The saag paneer has traditional benefits as it is offered to the deities during festivities or after a prayer session.
Palak Paneer Vs Saag Paneer: Major Differences
The major difference between these two is the type of vegetable used to prepare them.
For example, the saag paneer is prepared by using saag, which is a combination of green leaves like spinach, mustard leaves, Chenopodium, fenugreek leaves, radish greens, and Chenopodium, also known as podium, while the palak paneer Is made with just one vegetable, spinach leaves.
The paneer present in both of them usually helps add richness to these curries. This is the main difference between these two delicious curry dishes. Their color also differs as the saag paneer is light green, and the palak paneer is lighter green.
Similarities Between Palak Paneer and Saag Paneer
There are very few similarities between these two, but the most obvious similarity is that they are both from Punjab in India.
They both contain a common ingredient, paneer, which aids in providing thickness and mass to the dish, and they are both made with green vegetables even if palak paneer consists of only one vegetable, the spinach, while the other consists of a lot of green leaves.
These two can be used as a substitute for each other as their taste is also similar and not worry about the time you can waste getting it from a restaurant or fast-food store as you can eat it at home.
Some common spices used in making them both include cumin, coriander, cinnamon, black peppers, cloves, and seeds.
Since the palak and saag paneer can be grown all around the year, availability shouldn’t be the problem, and the only hindrance to the palak paneer is the availability of spinach, as it can become really rare to get.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Saag and Spinach the Same?
The answer to this question is no! saag is usually a combination of various vegetables, while the spinach dish is palak. Saag generally is a Punjabi term for leafy vegetables.
Is Palak Paneer Healthy?
The palak paneer is not a bad dish, but it is also not healthy, and this is because it contains a lot of calcium, but the body consumes only about five percent of this calcium which interferes with the iron absorption so palak paneer not very healthy.
What Does Saag Mean in India?
Saag is just green and leafy vegetables found in the subcontinent of India like Pakistan and Nepal. Whenever you hear people say saag, they most likely refer to leafy vegetables like mustard greens, spinach, fenugreek, basella, and collard greens.
Why Does My Palak Paneer Taste Bitter?
The bitter taste of palak paneer comes from spinach, which is known to have a bitter taste. The taste of this usually comes due to the oxalic acid that can be found in spinach. If you want a less bitter taste, you can reduce this by adding enough cream to your recipe.
Why Does Spinach Have a Metallic Taste?
The metallic taste of the spinach is due to the presence of calcium and insoluble oxalic acid in the spinach. This acid forms crystals that tend to stick to your teeth when you chew, giving it that gritty taste, which some people sometimes classify as a bitter taste.