India is blessed with over 18 varieties of spinach. If you have access to an Indian or Chinese grocery, look out for
some of the more unusual varieties. Saag Paneer, also known as Palak Paneer, is a spicy spinach and Indian Cottage
cheese dish, popular all over India.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
- Fresh Spinach, washed and finely chopped OR frozen spinach – 500 gm
- Paneer, cut into cubes – 200 gm
- Oil – ½ cup or 4 fl oz.
- Cumin Seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Dried red Chilli – 4
- Tomatoes, finely chopped – 2 medium
- Onions, finely chopped – 2 medium
- Ginger paste – 1 tablespoon
- Green chilli, finely chopped - 2
- Garam Masala – 2 teaspoon
- Cumin Powder - 1 teaspoon
- Salt – 1½ teaspoon or to taste.
- Butter – 4 tablespoon
- Coriander, finely chopped – 1 small bunch.
- Peanuts – handful for garnishing.
- Heat oil in a pan and fry the paneer until slightly brown on all sides. Remove and put aside. Do not drain the excess
oil. Be careful when doing this as paneer usually tends to splutter while frying!
- Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 4 dried red chilli to the same oil and fry for 10 seconds. Then add tomatoes, onions,
ginger paste, green chilli, 2 teaspoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon cumin powder and fry until all the ingredients are
golden brown. Cover the lid; reduce heat and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the fried paneer, 1½ teaspoon salt and stir well. Cover the pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring
occasionally, until the spices have mixed well.
- Add the spinach and stir well. Cook with the pan covered until the spinach is tender and all the excess fluids have
evaporated. When you start seeing oil coming out of the sides of the pan, the spinach is nearly ready then. Add four
tablespoon of butter at this stage.
- Garnish with freshly chopped coriander, peanuts and serve hot with rice or puri.
Instead of paneer, add fried potatoes, fried cauliflower florets and peas.
For a less fatty option, add light cream or milk at the end instead of butter!!