Impress your guests with this easy-to-make cheese Indian recipe
Saag Paneer is best known as a side dish, but it makes a sensational mid-week meal. The Indian cheese used, (known as ‘paneer’), has a similar consistency to halloumi, and is stocked in most big supermarkets. Round this time of year it’s easier (and certainly cheaper) to use frozen spinach. This recipe doesn’t puree the ‘saag’ (spinach), making it more of a robust main course, which is filled with flavour and packed with goodness to carry you through the last days of spring.
• 350g Paneer
• 2tbsp + 1tbsp vegetable oil
• 2 onions, diced
• 1 tsp cumin seeds
• 5cm fresh ginger, grated
• ½ tsp turmeric
• ½ chilli powder
• 2 tsp garam masala
• 1 ripe tomato, roughly diced
• 600g frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed out (whole leaf preferable)
• 75ml single cream
• Salt, to season
To serve: rice (white or brown), or freekeh
1. Cut the paneer into 2cm cubes.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a frying pan, and cook the paneer for 5 minutes – turning the cubes occasionally, until they are golden and crisp on all sides. Tip the paneer onto a wad of absorbent kitchen roll, and set aside. Heat the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil in the pan (if needed), and fry the cumin for 20 seconds, until fragrant. Add the onion, and continue to cook on a low heat for 5-8 minutes, until the onions has softened and are turning translucent.
3. Add the ginger, turmeric, chilli, garam masala, chopped tomato, and all its juices – and cook until the tomato softens, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the spinach to the pan, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the cream and 50ml of kettle water, and then return the paneer to the pan. Season with salt and cook for a final 5 minutes, until the paneer is heated-through, and the sauce takes on a creamy-smooth consistency (if needed, add a splash more cream or water).
5. Spoon brown or white rice, or freekeh into four bowls. Top with the saag paneer, and serve with a wedge of lemon.