Spinach, the leafy green packed with nutrients, lends itself beautifully to a myriad of recipes around the globe. Among these, one stands out for its creamy texture, subtle spices, and soul-satisfying flavors: Saag Paneer. A staple in Indian cuisine, Saag Paneer is a spinach-based curry with soft cubes of Indian cottage cheese (Paneer). In this blog post, I’ll walk you through my favorite Saag Paneer recipe, which is easy to make yet tastes divine.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 500 grams of fresh spinach
- 200 grams of paneer
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, pureed
- 2 green chillies
- 1 tablespoon of ginger-garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon of garam masala powder
- 2 tablespoons of cream
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter)
- Preparation of Spinach: Rinse the spinach leaves thoroughly under running water. Then, blanch them in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain the hot water and immediately transfer the leaves into cold water (this helps to retain the vibrant green color). After a few minutes, drain the cold water and blend the spinach in a blender to make a smooth puree.
- Cooking the Paneer: Cut the paneer into cubes. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan, add the paneer cubes and sauté them till they turn golden. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
- Preparing the Curry: In the same pan, add the remaining oil and heat it. Add cumin seeds. Once they begin to crackle, add the finely chopped onions. Sauté until they turn golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste and green chillies, and sauté for another minute until the raw smell disappears.
- Add pureed tomatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder, and salt. Cook this mixture until the oil starts separating.
- Now, add the spinach puree to the pan, mix well, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add a bit of water if the mixture is too thick.
- Add the sautéed paneer cubes to the spinach gravy and mix gently. Cover the pan and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, add garam masala and cream, and mix well.
Saag Paneer is best served warm with naan, roti, or steamed rice. A slice of lemon on the side and a sprinkle of fresh coriander leaves can add an extra zing to this delectable dish.
There you have it, a simple yet flavorsome recipe to bring the magic of Indian cuisine to your kitchen. Saag Paneer is not just a treat to your taste buds, but also packed with the goodness of spinach. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or looking for a comforting meal, this dish is sure to win hearts. Happy cooking!