Recipe: Saag Paneer

Many of my go-to Indian dishes are originally inspired by / adapted from frugal feeding‘s recipes. This one is no different, and it’s a definite winner that will go into the regular dinner repertoire. Saag paneer is basically stewed spinach (or any type of dark greens) with paneer, a fresh South Asian cheese. Spiced with cumin, ginger, and garlic, and finished with plain yogurt, saag paneer makes a delicious and healthy weeknight dinner, especially with some fresh homemade naan on the side. F gave my saag paneer a “really good” rating — that’s high praise.

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For my saag paneer, I used frozen rather than fresh spinach. Perhaps fresh enhances the flavor, but I thought it worked just fine with frozen — and it’s cheaper. My paneer stuck to the pan when I tried to brown it, so that’s a work in progress.

Saag Paneer (adapted from frugal feeding; makes 4-6 generous servings)

Ingredients

  • 450g paneer, cubed
  • neutral oil
  • 750g frozen (or fresh) spinach
  • 1-inch knob of ginger, minced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp cumin, ground
  • 4 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt

Procedure

  • Heat some oil in a large pan and cook the cubed paneer until it’s golden brown on all sides. Remove the paneer from the pan and set aside; leave the oil in the pan.
  • If using frozen spinach, thaw/cook it on the stove in some water. If using fresh spinach, blanch it in boiling water, then blend it in a food processor until smooth.
  • While you’re cooking the spinach, sauté the ginger, garlic, and cumin in the pan with saved oil over medium-high heat until golden-brown and fragrant. Add the tomatoes and let cook until they’re broken down, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the spinach and salt, then let the saag simmer for another 5 minutes. Add the paneer and continue cooking until everything is heated through.
  • Stir in the yogurt just before serving, and enjoy with some naan and extra yogurt.

Enjoy!

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