Ok Paneer! Let’s do this! I’ve never cooked with paneer before, so when a friend offered us some because they had extra, I didn’t hesitate!
There are so many recipes out there with paneer, but I thought it was best to start with a classic. There is something so comforting about the fragrant and spicy spinach curry sauce that it’s hard to not spoon it straight out of the pan. I made a recipe for 4 which we managed to finish off with just the 2 of us, oops!
Today I served it with steamed cumin white rice, but pappadums or naan would have gone great with it as well, for that extra bite. All in all this is quite a simple recipe, you can have it on the table within 30-40 minutes. Recipe for the Saag inspired by @harighotra and the recipe for the paneer inspired by @foodandwine . Thanks @sybillance and @polagreg for the paneer!
- 1 tbsp butter / 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 750g baby spinach, washed (or 600 g frozen spinach, see notes)
- 1-2 green or red chillies, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 1-2 tsp salt to taste
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 3 cm fresh ginger, sliced
- 1 tomato, roughly chopped
- 1.5 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 maggi stock cube (optional)
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 450g paneer, cut into 3cm cubes
- To serve:
- Chili flakes (optional)
- 1 tbsp Melted Ghee (optional)
- Steamed white rice, pappadums and/or naan
Heat butter or oil in a pan and sauté the spinach until just starting to wilt.
Transfer the spinach to a mixer and add the chili's.
Blitz this into a smooth paste and set aside.
Melt the ghee, whisk in with the turmeric, chilli powder and salt, then add the cubed paneer and toss well. Set aside.
Fry the paneer in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat for around 8 mins, tossing the pan so they become golden all over.
Remove and set aside on a plate, leaving spices behind in the pan.
In the same pan add a bit of extra oil and the cumin seeds, toast until fragrant.
Add chopped onions and sauté on low heat for 2 minutes until translucent and fragrant.
Add the salt and garlic and let cook on low heat for ± 5 minutes until soft.
Stir in the tomatoes, ginger and dried fenugreek leaves.
Add the garam masala and stir through.
Increase the heat, add a splash of water and create a thick paste.
When sauce has come together add the spinach and crumble in the maggi cube (if using), bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat and let simmer for a few minutes until you have a thick gravy (if it seems too dry add a drop of water).
Add the paneer, gently stir and warm through, 2-3 minutes.
In a small pan melt a tablespoon of ghee and add a teaspoon of chili flakes. Let bubble for a few seconds.
Serve with steamed white rice and drizzle the hot ghee over the saag paneer, it will sizzle a bit.
Frozen spinach works great as well! Defrost the spinach in a colander so the excess water can leak out. When defrosted blitz it in a blender together with the chili as mentioned above).