Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Saag Paneer

Around my house, we are Indian food suckers. Until recently, we always went out for Indian food. For some reason, the thought of making it at home scared me. I wasn't sure if I could pull off making authentic tasting Indian food.

Our friends, Bop and Beep inspired me to make our own Indian food by providing one of their favorite recipes for Saag Paneer. Seriously, if you ever have the desire to learn how to make a certain dish, visit Bop and Beep and browse their recipes. I have also eaten at their place, and it is a fine treat to be invited over for dinner!

Saag Paneer
Adapted from Serious Eats 
4 teaspoons of butter, divided
4 teaspoons of grapeseed oil or other neutral oil, divided
1 pound of frozen paneer, cubed
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1-3 small green chiles, seeded and chopped (I left some seeds in)
1 tablespoon of mild, medium, or hot curry powder
2 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of coriander
1 teaspoon of turmeric (If you don't have it on hand, don't worry about it)
20 oz of fresh spinach or 2 10 oz package of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 1/2 cup of plain yogurt, as needed ( I used low fat)
Salt to taste
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
1. Heat one teaspoon each of oil and butter in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add paneer and fry until each cube is golden brown, abt 12-15 min. Remove from pan and set aside.
2. Heat remaining oil and butter. Add onions, ginger, garlic and chiles. Cook until onions are turning golden., about 6-7 minutes.
3. Add all spices to onion mixture and cook until fragrant, about 1 min.
4. Add spinach to the pan, stir until well blended. If you are using fresh spinach, make sure the spinach is completely wilted. Transfer the spinach mixture into a food processor or blender and add enough yogurt to render the mixture creamy. If you prefer a courser mixture, remove 1/3 of the spinach beforehand.
5. Return spinach mixture to the pan, add unmixed spinach if using. Add warm water to thin if mixture is too thick.
6. Stir in paneer, heating until paneer softens.
7. Stir in cilantro.
Serve over a bed of rice or naan. You can buy naan at Trader Joe's if you don't feel like making it from scratch.

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