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authentic saag paneer


Your Recipes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total: 40 minutes

Servings: 6


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Step 1

Wash the spinach and fenugreek leaves thoroughly in running water. Drain.

Step 2

Break or cut off the spinach stems and then roughly chop the leaves. Set them aside. Do the same with the fenugreek.

Step 3

Put a large pot of salted water to boil. Once the water comes to a boil, add the spinach leaves, and cook for two minutes. Remove the spinach from the boiling water and immediately place it in a bowl of ice-cold water with ice cubes in it. (Alternately, place the spinach in a colander and run it under cold running water for a few minutes.) Do the same with the fenugreek leaves. This step is known as blanching and will ensure that the colors of the greens is maintained.

Step 4

Drain and lightly squeeze out the excess water from the spinach and the fenugreek leaves. Place the spinach and fenugreek leaves in a blender along with a few tablespoons of water. Grind into a smooth paste. (The recipe up to this step can be done ahead, and the paste can be kept in the refrigerator for 2 days.)

Step 5

Cut the paneer (Indian cottage cheese) into cubes, about one inch by half inch pieces. (For added crunch, dust the paneer with corn flour before frying.)

Step 6

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium sized frying pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cheese. Fry for about 45 seconds on each side, until the paneer is golden brown.

Step 7

Remove the fried paneer from the oil and place on a paper towel. Set aside.

Step 8

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds, and fry for a minute until the cumin seeds start to splutter and release their aroma.

Step 9

Add the sliced garlic and ginger and sauté till the garlic turns light golden and releases its aroma.

Step 10

Add the green chilies followed by the chopped onions. Fry for 3 – 4 minutes until the onions are light golden. (Reduce the heat as needed as the skillet gets hot.)

Step 11

Add the red chili flakes, turmeric and salt.

Step 12

Fry the spices for a minute, and then add the spinach and fenugreek puree. Turn the heat to medium-low, as the puree has a habit of spluttering and that can get quite messy. Cook for a couple of minutes until the mixture comes to a light boil.

Step 13

Turn heat to low, and add lemon juice, along with about 75% of the fried paneer. Stir through. Add cream (if using) at this stage.

Step 14

Remove the saag paneer into a serving bowl. Garnish with the remaining paneer.

Step 15

Serve hot with naan or roti.