Saag Paneer

A simple grocery store – frozen food imitation

Saag Paneer in India is made from mustard greens or a combination of mustard greens and spinach. Finding mustard greens here in the US can be a bit tough,hence restaurants use Spinach as an easier alternative. The saag usually has a slightly bitter taste from the mustard greens and a rich dark green color. This Saag Paneer is an adaptation from restaurant and frozen grocery store dinner recipes.

When I picked up a frozen Saag Paneer entree from my favorite grocery store a few years ago, lo and behold…one of the ingredients in the list was BROCCOLI !! Yes ! Broccoli adds volume, taste and color to the Saag. I added it as an experiment and to my surprise we loved what it did to the curry. I do not add it all the time, only when I have both ingredients on hand at the same time or when I am running low on spinach. It is a great addition and adds to the taste for sure.

As always, remember do not cook this saag covered, or it will lose its gorgeous green color and do not add turmeric if you want this saag to remain this pleasant green. Adding turmeric will yield a different green, a more restaurant like one. You can also add some chopped tomatoes in the end if you want to. Brings in that mild tang to cut the creaminess. Also the acid helps absorb the iron along with retaining the color, a squirt of lemon juice works well.

For a Vegan version use firm tofu and oil. Everything else can remain the same.

Prep Time : 10 minutesCook Time : 20 minutes
Spice level : 🌶🌶Ease Level : 😃
Serves 4 Indian Curry

Recipe : Saag Paneer

Ingredients :

  1. Baby Spinach / Whole leaf Spinach : 6 oz bag / 170 grams
  2. Broccoli florets : 2/3 cup
  3. Paneer – 200 grams – cubed
  4. Medium sized sweet onion : sliced thin
  5. Ginger chopped : 1 teaspoon
  6. Garlic chopped : 1 teaspoon
  7. Green Thai Chili – 2 small ones
  8. Almond meal – 1 tablespoon
  9. Nigella seeds : 1/2 teaspoon
  10. Cinnamon – 2 inch stick
  11. Green cardamom – 2
  12. Salt to taste
  13. Oil or Ghee

How to :

  1. Heat a skillet on medium high, add a teaspoon of oil, then add the green chilis, chopped ginger and garlic. Saute for 30 seconds.
  2. Next add the sliced onions and saute for a few seconds, let it cook until slightly brown and transparent.
  3. Add the baby spinach and stir to combine, let the spinach wilt. Turn off heat.
  4. Now add the broccoli florets, mix well so that they soften in the residual heat.
  5. Purée this mixture with the almond meal.
  6. Heat the same skillet again, add some ghee, then the nigella seeds, 2 inch cinnamon stick and a couple of cardamom pods.
  7. Now carefully add the puree to the skillet making sure to stir while pouring to reduce the splatter.
  8. Check for salt.
  9. Add the cubed paneer and let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Once the top starts to bubble, turn off heat and remove skillet from the stove.
  10. Do not cover the skillet entirely until the curry cools down a bit, this will help retain the color.
  11. Squeeze some lemon juice if you want at this stage.
  12. Serve warm with roti, naan, rice or quinoa.

That is it ! No garam masala powder or coriander powder or any of the usual spice powders. This is a very simple recipe and the nigella seeds add a very unique flavor to the Saag. We thoroughly enjoyed it with some stir fried veggies and quinoa. I hope you try this and like it too. Thank you for stopping by !

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