Saag paneer literally means “spinach cheese.” This classic northern Indian dish has become so popular that it's sold here in the frozen food section, but, as always, homemade is best. You can use other fresh cheeses if paneer is unavailable; Mexican- or Spanish-style fresh cheese is especially good.
- Portion size 6 servings
- Credits : Canadian Living Magazine: September 2009
- 2 bunches spinach trimmed
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3/4 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons finely grated gingerroot or minced
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground indian hot pepper or 1/2 tsp/2 ml cayenne pepper
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 3 plum tomatoes peeled and finely chopped
- 1/3 cup plain Balkan-style yogurt
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3/8 teaspoons garam masala
- 8 oz paneer cubed
MethodIn large pot of boiling salted water, blanch spinach just until wilted; drain, chill under cold water and drain again. In food processor, purée spinach with 1/4 cup (50 mL) water; set aside.
In large deep skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; cook cumin seeds until slightly darkened, about 10 seconds. Add onion and butter; cook until onion is golden, about 8 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium; stir in garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Stir in fresh coriander, hot pepper, salt, ground coriander, turmeric and cinnamon; cook, stirring, until very fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring, until tomatoes break down, about 3 minutes.
Stir in puréed spinach; cover and cook, stirring occasionally and adding 1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 25 mL) water if mixture is no longer saucy, until steaming hot, about 3 minutes.
Stir in yogurt, lemon juice and garam masala; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low; add paneer. Cover and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.
Nutritional facts Per each of 6 servings: about
- Sodium 688 mg
- Protein 7 g
- Calories 162.0
- Total fat 11 g
- Potassium 715 mg
- Cholesterol 20 mg
- Saturated fat 4 g
- Total carbohydrate 11 g
- Iron 31.0
- Folate 77.0
- Calcium 25.0
- Vitamin A 122.0
- Vitamin C 30.0