Saag paneer is a classic north Indian dish that is made up of fried paneer cheese and a creamy spinach sauce. You can find on just about any Indian restaurant menu, but it has way better flavor when you make it at home.
Part of my birthday involved a pan of slightly overzealous hot oil, a few unfortunately exposed areas of my body, and a kitchen floor that now feels like someone poured lube all over it.
All in the name of fried cheese.
Needless to say, it was worth it.
By which I mean, on Monday morning you might have found me curled up in fetal position in a corner of the kitchen, shrieking for The.Boy to come rescue me, even at the risk of his own skin and extremities.
I would like to say that he obliged, but mostly he just stood there, amused by my antics, watching from a “safe” distance as I used the longest spoon we own to push the paneer cubes around in the pan. Classy.
If you’ve ever had a bowl of saag paneer at an Indian restaurant, though, then you’d understand my
It’s creamy on the outside and full of iron-rich spinach on the inside so that even though you know you’re eating something crazy decadent, you can totally justify it to yourself.
Plus this recipe is especially a no-brainer because TEN INGREDIENTS OR LESS INDIAN FOOD. That’s near impossible. Practically a miracle. And definitely something you need in your weeknights.
Just avoid the hot oil. Trust me.
One year ago…Spice-Roasted Squash with Walnut-Green Harissa
Four years ago…Southwestern Focaccia Pizza with Poblanos and Blue Cheese
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ½ lb paneer, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 fresh green serrano chile, stems discarded, coarsely chopped (don't remove the seeds)
- 1 tbsp Madras curry powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 lb baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup half and half
- Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the paneer in a single layer and cook until starting to brown, then flip over and repeat on all sides. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible.
- Place the onion and chile into a food processor and pulse until minced. Add them to the skillet and saute over medium heat until the onion starts to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle in the curry sauce and the salt, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Pour in the tomato sauce. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes, until most of the liquid evaporates.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and add in the spinach by the handful, allowing it to wilt before adding more. Repeat until all of the spinach has wilted.
- Stir in the half and half and the paneer. Simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve warm over rice or with naan.