Throw away your take-out menus because this one-pot baked paneer with chickpeas and spinach is a mash-up of two of the best Indian dishes – saag paneer and chana saag!
I’m really committed to the concept of a birthday MONTH this year.
In case you couldn’t tell by the fact that February food so far has consisted entirely of my mac and cheese and lemony dessert loving gluttony.
And so far I’ve only really skimmed the surface of my deepest darkest (butteriest) birthday food wishes!
Still up on my to-do list are:
two cakes (one of which is a Milk Bar recipe undertaking!)
lots of runny egg yolks
and a pizza (obviously).
If you know me at all, though, (and who knows me better than you guys, truly) then you know that no celebration of my favorite things would be complete without a dabble into the world of Indian cuisine.
And that paneer is a MUST MUST MUST.
I can’t handle the stress of frying cheese, however, especially with a 9 month old monster constantly underfoot so I’m eternally grateful that I’ve stumbled upon the perfect solution:
BAKED. ONE. POT. PANEER. CURRY.
Or, well, a mash-up curry in which my favorite saag paneer and my favorite chana saag HAVE A BABY.
I have no idea what took those two so long to get it on because they are obviously meant to be.
Don’t you agree?
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp chili powder
- pinch of sugar
- 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 lb baby spinach
- 4 cups cooked chickpeas
- 8 oz paneer, cut into ¼-inch cubes
- For the sauce, melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the onion, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Cook until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garam masala, chili powder, and sugar. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir, cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add in the tomato and cook for 3 minutes. Add the cream and heat until boiling. Lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Stir in the spinach, one handful at a time, and cook until wilted. Season again with salt and black pepper.
- Heat oven to 400F.
- Spread the chickpeas and paneer over the sauce in an even layer. Bake until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese has browned a bit, about 20-30 minutes. Serve warm.