Step 12: SAAG PANEER RECIPE
2 pounds fresh baby spinach, washed and stems trimmed
1/4 cup ghee (substitute olive oil and butter mixed if no ghee is available but I will include a "recipe" on the next step)
1/2 gallon batch (or 1/2 pound store-bought)cubed paneer cheese
2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
6-8 garlic cloves, grated or minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (no need to peel before grating)
3-6 fresh green chilies (serranos work nicely) depending on how spicy you like it.
1/8 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (some like it hot)
1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
2 teaspoons garam masala powder (recipe for mine on upcoming step also)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup plain yogurt
First blanch about two pounds of fresh spinach (toss in boiling water for just one minute to wilt, but not so long it loses all flavor!).
Strain in colander, pressing all water out with a wooden or latex spoon or spatula. Don't worry about bruising or crushing now, you just want to get rid of as much water as possible. Sometimes I send it for a little spin in the salad spinner if I am not satisfied, or for the extremist, squeeze it in cheese cloth.
Pour 1/4 cup ghee (if you have it, if not you can use half olive oil, half butter) in a large skillet ove medium-high heat.
As soon as this is all melted and hot, add the cubed paneer and fry for a couple minutes until nicely browned all over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (1/2 teaspoon of each should suffice), remove from pan and set aside.
Using the same pan, now sautÃ© your chopped onions, garlic, and ginger for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly until the onions are translucent and floppy.
Add dry spices and another 1/2 teaspoon salt and keep stirring until everything is all incorporated. This should just take a few minutes.
Now gently add the spinach and mix it all up. Reduce heat to the lowest setting while you add the dairy. First stir in buttermilk and yoghurt to create a rich, creamy sauce before finally turning OFF the heat. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Give it one last stir before gently folding in the delicate fried paneer.
Serve with a mound of basmati rice or your favorite flat breads.
Offer chopped fresh cilantro and chilled plain yughurt as sides. Also a simple cold salad of sliced cucumber and tomatoes with nothing but lemon juice and salt makes a wonderful accompaniment to any spicy Indian dish, in my opinion.