I recently realized that in my last few grocery shopping trips I have repeatedly bought bags of frozen spinach without even realizing that I already had a bag or two already in the freezer. I buy my spinach fresh, but also have a bag (not three!!!) of frozen spinach to add on to curries or pasta dishes. We have been trialing out chapatis (rotis) for a lot of our meals in the last few weeks and so I have been making various curries to go with them and since I have spinach coming out of my ears, I decided to use a bag of spinach for a dish that I could freeze and have on stand-by for our crazy days.
Paneer is a cheese that is used a lot in Indian cuisine. It’s made by curdling heated milk with lemon juice. The cheese is vegetarian which is perfect for vegetarians! It’s so well known that I can actually find paneer in the cheese section in my local supermarket here in Wellington, NZ.
So about this dish … Saag paneer is a classic north Indian dish that you can find on a menu in most Indian restaurants. The paneer is fried up and then cooked in a creamy spinach sauce.
This curry will go great with a rice dish like a Jeera (cumin) rice, peas pulao or coconut rice. If you don’t prefer rice, just make some rotis or dunk some naan in this delicious creamy curry.
- Begin by frying the paneer in the oil in batches. I had the heat on medium as some pieces started popping, so I had the lid ready to close the pot if it popped haha.
- Once the paneer is fried and golden brown, drain on kitchen towels and set aside.
- Drain most of the oil from the frying pan and saute the onion in the same pot. As the onions soften add the ginger and garlic paste and the chile.
- After a couple of minutes, add the curry powder.
- The curry powder will start to cook through and become fragrant, then you add the tomato paste. If you can’t find tomato paste in your area, cut up some juicy tomatoes and puree it and then add to the pot.
- Let it cook for another 5-7mins after which you add your frozen or fresh spinach, season with salt and continue to cook.
- Add the fried paneer and the cooking cream.
- Stir well together. If the curry is a bit too thick for your liking pour 1/3 cup or so of hot water to loosen it up.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook until reduced to a deliciously creamy consistency.
- Serve immediately.