Thursday, September 1, 2005

Spinach & Cheese - Saag Paneer

Spinach and Cheese – Saag Paneer

From Creative Cooking - Indian

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes

Serves 4-6

1 cup vegetable oil
7 oz/200g paneer (Indian cheese – see end of post for recipe)
3 tomatoes, halved and sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 ½ tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
14 oz/400 g spinach
3 fresh green chilies (I only used 1 – I like it mild)


1. In a large sauté pan or skillet, heat oil over medium high heat and add paneer. Sauté, stirring occasionally until they are golden. (about 5 minutes) Remove from pan and place on paper towels to absorb the oil.

2. Add the tomatoes to the skillet with the rest of the oil and stir fry until they are soft (about 5 minutes). Add the cumin, chili powder, and salt and mix well.

3. Add the spinach to the pan and stir fry over low heat for 7-10 minutes. This is one dish where you WANT the spinach to be almost black and mushy. Add the fresh green chilies and the paner and cook for another 2 minutes.

To make your own paneer: (about 2½ - 3 hours)
4 ½ cups milk
2 tbsp lemon juice

1. Boil the milk slowly over low heat.

2. Add the lemon juice, stirring occasionally until the milk thickens and begins to curdle.

3. Strain the milk through a fine sieve. Set aside under a heavy weight for 2 hours to press to a flat shape about ½” thick.

4. Once set, the paneer can be cut to whatever shape you prefer.

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Mahek said...

ruth how did you plan the menu which according to me is the most difficult part.
how did you decide what you wanted to cook i.e. what was your criteria while choosing the dishes.

Ruth Daniels said...

Mahek - that part was easy. I love Indian food and we eat at Indian restaurants often. I just chose all my favorite dishes. That's why I ended up using 4 different cookbooks.

Mahek said...

you know when i make palak paneer ie saag paneer i boil the spinach leaves pour them in cold water to retain the green colour and then i puree it in a blender before adding it to the tomato mixture i make a gravy with onions too
and offcourse ginger and garlic with some garammasala added.

Ruth Daniels said...

Mahek, thanks for the tip. I'll have to do that next time around.