My boyfriend and I fairly often get an Indian take away when we’re feeling lazy, but since I’m not a huge fan of curry, I usually get two side dishes rather than one main dish and rice. One of these dishes, I’ve already tried making and posted about, so here’s the second: saag paneer.
Paneer is an Indian cheese. It’s fairly firm, and in the same way that halloumi does, it goes nice and brown when you fry it, rather than melting. It’s perfect for this dish, adding a little bite to the tasty, slightly spicy spinach.
This dish varies a huge amount depending on where you buy it from – some places use whole spinach leaves, others use spinach puree. Some places include chunks of tomato, others don’t. Some places use a really creamy sauce, whereas others use a more tomato-based, spicy sauce. So this is just one interpretation of saag paneer, and I don’t claim that it’s authentic (I wouldn’t know), but it sure is good.
If you’re wondering how tasty a bowl of spinach 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 garlic, minced
200g spinach
2tsp ground coriander
1tsp cumin
1tsp chilli powder
1tsp turmeric
1tsp garam masala
Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok, and fry the paneer cheese until slightly browned, turning to ensure at least a couple of the faces of each cube are browned.
Remove the cheese from the pan and place on some kitchen towel.
Using the same oil, soften the garlic and onion, and add the spices. After a few minutes, add the spinach and cook until wilted. Salt to taste. Return the paneer to the pan and, once heated through, serve with naan bread as a main course, or as a side dish to another Indian dish.