Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saag Paneer

This recipe I took from The Best Recipes in the World by Mark Bittman. My hubby and I, the two fans of Indian food in the house, like to eat it with basmati rice, and naan. I made it recently with spinach from our CSA, and it was delicious!

1 1/2 pounds of fresh spinach
3/4 pound of paneer cheese (I use less than this and sometimes none at all)
2 tablespoons of ghee
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
3 small dried chiles (I substituted cayenne because I didn't have these, about 1/4 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons curry powder (I get this at the Indian grocer)
(I also add, not in the book recipe, some turmeric, cardamom and cumin)
1/2 cup of yogurt (I use the greek yogurt, which is less watery)
1 1/2 cup of half and half

Trim the spinach, and wash it carefully (it is usually grown in very sandy soil). Do not dry. Chop into pieces. Cut the paneer into 1 inch chunks.

Put the ghee in a skillet. Heat in a deep skillet at medium high heat. Add the ginger, garlic and chiles. Cook for a minute or two until the garlic turns blond. Stir in all the spices for about 30 seconds. Then add all of the spinach. Cook, stirring until the spinach wilts. Then add the yogurt and 1 cup of the cream (I usually stir these together before adding, it makes it smoother, in my opinion). Let the mixture boil fairly rapidly to cook off some of the liquid (stir constantly!). (If you are not going to add the paneer stop here and do not add the other 1/2 cup of cream.) When it has cooked down and most of the liquid has cooked off add teh paneer and the remaining cream to desired consistency. Taste, adjust seasoning if you like and serve with rice and/or naan.

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