Healing power of saag paneer

Mallika Basu - Healing power of saag paneer

Posted 2nd October 2007

11-9-07c.jpgThe weather is turning. And that can mean only one thing. A whole new wardrobe.

My stomach churned merely at the thought. Hordes of hormonal girls wrestling over last-remaining size small jackets and long queues to reach even the clothes display.

I could think of 100 better things to do on a Sunday afternoon. Like eating my shoes or toenails.

It started the day hubby pointed out that grey suits and shoulder pads had gone out of fashion since the end of Dynasty. Shit. I hadn’t even noticed. But then, I’d barely ventured beyond the Austin Reed basement.

I should have stayed put. The whole thing was about as much fun as being dragged through a hedge, backwards. Virtually everything I bought needs to be returned. My feed still hurt from the walking. The less said about my bank balance the better.

The only saving grace was the saag paneer I’d made earlier – a thick, smooth and spicy spinach puree with little cubes of Indian cheese. I had a whole pan full of this loveliness to come back to as darkness and exhaustion set. And it certainly buoyed me along.

Give me the healing power of saag paneer, a spoonful of plain yogurt and ready made parathas any day. Shame it couldn’t repair the damage to my wallet…

PS = Check out this even simpler recipe if you’re seriously exhausted!

This recipe serves 4-6:

250 gm paneer

500 gm frozen spinach

2 green finger chillies

Juice of half a lemon

2 tsp coriander powder

2 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp chilli powder

Half tsp turmeric powder

Half tsp garam masala

1 medium onion, chopped fine

4 garlic cloves and 1 inch ginger, pureed

Salt to taste

2 tbsp sunflower oil

Cut the paneer into even, two-centimetre by one-centimetre cubes. Marinate them in the turmeric powder, half the chilli powder and half a teaspoon of salt.

In the meantime, microwave cook the frozen spinach for five minutes until thoroughly defrosted. Add in the green chillies and puree it to a smooth paste with a hand blender.

Now heat the oil in a thick bottomed frying pan over a high flame. When it is hot, fry the paneer pieces until pale brown on two opposite sides. Remove from the oil, draining them carefully.

Now add the onion, garlic and ginger into the same oil and fry until they are a pale toffee brown.

Then add all the spice powders, apart from the garam masala. Stir vigorously for about 10 minutes on a high heat until the pungent, individual smell of the masalas changes to a more blended aroma.

Now mix in the pureed spinach evenly, adding salt to taste. Lower the flame to a gentle simmer and let the spices work their magic through the spinach for five minutes.

Finally stir in the garam masala, the paneer cubes and the lemon juice. Let the ingredients simmer together for another five minutes and serve hot. As a final tip, this tastes much better if it’s left sitting in the fridge for a couple of hours before being reheated.

26 responses to “Healing power of saag paneer”

  1. Deana says:

    I was in London this week last year. I have to say…that Sunday we spent on Regent Street was the closest I’ve ever come to having a panic attack! Right there in H&M I nearly lost it because of ALL the people! πŸ™‚

    I could have used a big bowl of your Saag Paneer!

  2. revathi says:

    First time here to your site and u got urself a fan!! I love the simplicity in ur dishes and your write ups are superb… very funny and serious at the same time…

    Nice blog – glad i discovered it..

  3. sia says:

    oh!!! the madness of winter sales… my hubby is getting small heart attacks whenever i come back from my so called window shopping πŸ˜‰
    Give me the healing power of saag paneer, a spoonful of plain yogurt and ready made parathas any day.
    you said it all… πŸ˜€

  4. Asha says:

    LOL!! Yeah, you need that healing power in Winter there in UK. We still have a.. burning heat here and I am not exaggerating at all!:p
    Saag Paneer looks yummy! Slurp!!
    RCI K round up Part 1 is out today at FH!!

  5. Kumudha says:

    So many delicious recipes here!

  6. Wendy says:

    You do make me laugh. πŸ™‚
    And saag paneer is one of my absolute favourites. Fancy it right now actually. Must resist… Must… Nope. Off to make it!

  7. Reena says:

    That’s my Sunday dinner sorted this weekend! Thanks Mallika :o)

  8. […] Saag Paneer (tags: recipe indian spicy spinach chilis lemons paneer ginger) […]

  9. sandeepa says:

    You do not like shopping….this blog gives me all wrong impressions..except for the Saag Paneer which is rightly delicious

  10. Chris says:

    Based on this recipe and a couple others, I made saag chicken last night and it was fabulous! Love your pictures.

  11. Lauren says:

    I made this today with mushroom instead of the paneer, was faulous

  12. Mary says:

    I made up your saag paneer recipe this last weekend and it was really really good! Thank you so much. We’ve tried some other saag paneer recipes from books and what not, but not been satisfied. Yours though was terrific. Rave reviews from everyone. Yeah! Finally! A fantastic saag paneer.

  13. […] I am still grappling with the delights of fashionable clothes shopping. All appropriately sourced and reassuringly […]

  14. I ate a soothing spinach dish the other night at the Elaichi Tandoori in Glastonbury, Somerset. With fresh organic spinach in my fridge, I was desperate to replicate it. Your recipe was just what I needed to create a smooth spicy dish like the one I ate in the restaurant. Blending the spinach was a masterful idea, and as I fried the spices, I felt I had been let into a big secret. Thank you, Mallika, for Indian dish-demystification.

  15. nana says:

    This is palak paneer recipe not a saag paneer

  16. Karen says:

    Just made this recipe for a camping trip tomorrow. I’m banking on the tip: “this tastes much better if itÒ€ℒs left sitting in the fridge for a couple of hours before being reheated.” I don’t know if that’s true over a campfire, but we’ll see. Anyway, we have wine . . .

  17. […] I only made saag paneer for the first time a few weeks ago, but this recipe has already made it into the rotation. Of course, it doesn’t taste the same as it does in […]

  18. Clare says:

    Just made the Saag Paneer and it is absolutely delicious. Supposed to be having it tomorrow night, but have severe doubts it will last that long.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  19. Nicole says:

    Love this recipe. I usually double it and stretch it with plain (non-flavored) yogurt. Just make sure to do this before you add the lemon juice and adjust accordingly. Yum yum!!!!

  20. Sue says:

    This recipe is amazing. I was doubtful before I tucked it in the refrigerator before the re-heat. I think the spinach I used was almost too fresh. I added a splash of cream and some plain yogurt to make it less-green as I like in Indian restaurants. Very yummy~~~

  21. karen says:

    A great recipe and very simple – loved it and will make for my veggie friends. My husband not keen on paneer but will add some chicken to his instead.

  22. Carly says:

    Great recipe; thanks for sharing! I’ve made this a couple times now, and both times I added a 1/2 t. more of garam masala, as well as more green chilies (I love spicy food!). I took another person’s suggestion from their comment and added about 1 c. of plain yogurt, to stretch the recipe. It tastes great! πŸ˜€

  23. Ruth says:

    Just made it – absolutely delicious! Will definitely become a staple recipe.

  24. Cheri says:

    This is a wonderful saag paneer recipe! I served it alongside chicken tikka masala, basmati rice & mango chutney – delish! Thanks for posting this version!

  25. […] and cheese can really be – try it, and you’ll see! Saag paneer Recipe adapted from Quick Indian Cooking Serves 2 2tbsp sunflower oil 200g paneer cheese, diced into 1.5cm cubes 1 onion, diced 2 cloves […]

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