Aug 3, 2013

Saag or Palak Paneer: Spinach with Indian Cheese recipe

Today I’m making for  you a dish that’s extremely popular all across the globe. A North Indian delicacy, a  thick creamy spinach curry dish with succulent almost melting Paneer chunks ready to be scooped with an Indian Flatbread!
restaurant saag palak paneer recipe
"Saag paneer is a classic Indian dish of cooked spinach studded with cubes of fried paneer cheese. Thickened with cream or coconut milk, it's a hearty and filling vegetarian meal."
Palak paneer is one type of saag, which can also be made with mustard leaves. Palak paneer may be somewhat more watery than saag paneer. The flavors in Saag Paneer are mild compared to other curries and its a great way to get some Iron and Protein into your diet.You can use fresh or frozen spinach for this dish

Ingredients for saag paneer

3 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons (vegetable or canola or sunflower oil)
Fresh or frozen Spinach-2 Packets (6oz each)
Paneer- 250 grams ((Indian cheese, either store-bought or made at home, cut into 1-inch cubes, see)
Cumin Seeds-1 tsp
2 medium Onions-chopped fine
1 (1-inch thumb) ginger, peeled and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
Crushed Garlic-2 tsp
Tomato - 2
Ground Coriander-2 tsp
Ground Cumin- 1 tsp
Garam Masala-1/2 tsp
1/2 teaspoom tumeric
Red chili powder-1/2 tsp ( or and 1 chopped chilli -seeds removed)
1 bunch fenugreek leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (or Lite sour cream)
Salt- to taste

Directions to make saag or palak paneer

Thaw the spinach in the microwave ( IF FROZEN SPINACH) in a microwave-safe dish, 5 minutes on high, then puree in a food processor until smooth.
Alternatively, you can chop it up,very finely with your knife if you want to do it the hard way.
Place a large flat pan over medium heat add two teaspoon vegetable or sunflower oil, let it get warm then add the paneer. In a couple of minutes give the paneer on the other side so that each piece of paneer should be browned on one side. Fry another minute or just to firm up the paneer so that
it does not crumble when added to  the spinach later. Remove from pan and keep aside.
Add the remaining  2 or three tablespoons vegetable or sunflower  oil to the pan. Throw in cummin seeds and let fry for  1 minute then add the onions, ginger, garlic and chilli. Now here's the important part: saute the mixture until it's golden brown, which should take about 15 minutes.
Don't skip this step - this is the base of the dish! If you feel like the mixture is becoming to dry and and burning, add some water and keep stirring.
Add the garam masala, coriander and cumin powder and cook, stirring often for upto  5 to 7 minutes.Add the spinach and stir well, mixing up with the existing spiced onion mixture into the spinach. Add a little salt and 1/2 cup of water, stir, and cook about 10 minutes with the lid off.
This dish is mainly served with roti, naan or boiled rice. This dish is nutritious and usually served all over india  but mainly eaten in Punjab of India and rajashthan.

Chefs's Note:
Paneer is very easy to make at home and homemade paneer has a better texture than store-bought paneer or ricotta cheese. If you'd like to buy it, this cheese is available in supermarkets as well as specialty Asian markets.
Let us know if you want an easy recipe  on how to make paneer at home
Recipe by cheff jeff

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Indian food uses spices and herbs that not just give it its distinctive taste and flavor but are also great for your health. Turmeric has been linked to cancer-prevention, ginger for coughs and colds and so on... Spices supply calcium, iron, vitamin B/C, carotene and other antioxidants.

So enjoy Indian food while the ingredients help your system!
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