Saag Paneer | Hari Ghotra  

3.8/5 rating (9 votes)

Saag Paneer

Puréed Spinach with Paneer

  • Heat Medium
  • Serves 4
  • Dietary Info VEGETARIAN HEALTHY
  • Prep 20 mins
  • Cook 30 mins
Saag Paneer

A vibrant green velvety spinach purée served with chunky home made paneer cubes.

Hari says

Spinach is a wonderful fresh and vibrant ingredient. It's really simple to cook and adds an earthy depth to your dish. Add some delicate Indian spices and bring out even more of the flavour. Spinach is so versatile - I like to fry, sauté, or purée it. In this dish I marry creamy home made paneer with bright green puréed spinach leaves - it looks and tastes great.

  • Ingredients
  • Method

Spinach

  • 1 tbsp butter / 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 750g baby spinach, washed
  • 1-2 green chillies, roughly chopped

Masala

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3 cm fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves 
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 250g paneer, cut into cubes

To Finish

  • 2 tbsp double cream (optional)
  • 1 lemon (optional)
  • 1 tbsp ghee (optional)
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • butter

Method

Spinach

  1. Heat the butter or oil in a pan and add the washed spinach. Sauté until the leaves just wilt.
  2. Once cooled add one or two roughly chopped chillies to the pan and using a hand blender blitz the cooked spinach and chillies in to a smooth paste - set to one side.

Masala

  1. In a second pan heat the oil and add cumin seeds until they are fragrant.
  2. Add the chopped onions and fry gently over a low heat before adding the salt and garlic. Leave to cook for about 5 minutes until soft.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, ginger and the dried fenugreek leaves. Increase the heat and cook to a create a thick masala paste. 
  4. Once the tomatoes have broken down add the blended spinach to the pan with a splash of water if necessary, bring to a boil then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for a few minutes. (The mixture shouldn't be watery).
  5. In a frying pan add the butter with a splash of water, once melted add the homemade paneer and stir. Leave the paneer to heat through (about 2-3 minutes).
  6. Add the paneer and any butter to the spinach purée and stir gently to coat.
  7. Stir in the garam masala.

To Finish

You can finish the dish in one of three ways:

  1. Stir in some cream and cook for a minute until the spinach is smooth and creamy, or
  2. Squeeze in the juice from one lemon, or
  3. Just before serving, heat some ghee in a small pan. Remove from the heat and add some chilli flakes then immediately pour over the dish.

Served with

Serve with roti and lots of butter.

Nutritional information

Typical values* per Serving
Calories67
Fat (g)5.8
of which saturates (g)2.8
Carbohydrates (g)1.8
of which sugars (g)1.3
Fibre (g)1.4
Protein (g)1.9
Salt (mg)0.80
*Based upon calculated values, supplied by myfitnesspal.com. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated.

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Comments

Comments (11)

  • Hari

    Hari

    26 March 2015 at 09:13 |
    Hi Mixy
    Glad the dish worked out well, Bought paneer does really vary, they will soften a bit but not much. In my opinion if you like paneer then have a go at making it - it's really easy and the paneer comes out soft and creamy. In terms of frozen spinach, I think it's great to keep some in the freezer so you can add it to dishes and it does still hold some nutrients. For dishes like this where it's the main ingredient then I would always go for fresh.
    looking forward to hearing about your chicken korma.

    reply

  • mixy

    mixy

    25 March 2015 at 12:57 |
    thanks a lot for your reply!

    I followed your recipe last night using seeds and garam masala at the end :-) . It worked out beautifully !

    The only change I made is that I used commercial paneer instead of home made one. The paneer cubes were a bit too hard in my opinoion and i boiled them for 2m. I don't know if that is a standard method at all to soften them but it seemed to work...

    I was tempted to use frozen spinach i had at home, but I finally went to buy some fresh one. Is using frozen spinach a bad idea?

    Next recipe, I will try your chicken korma, which is probably my indian dish favorite

    Thanks a lot!!!

    reply

  • Hari

    Hari

    24 March 2015 at 15:44 |
    Hi Mixy,
    Welcome to the HG kitchen glad you are enjoying the recipes.
    Some great questions. Personally I always buy whole coriander and cumin seeds and grind them in a pestle and mortar as and when I need them. The reason is that whole spices hold on to their aromatic oils for longer (must be stored in the dark in air tight containers) so they can be kept for longer and I find the flavours are better too.
    You can use ground if that's what you have though I would use slightly less ground but don't worry too much.
    Different cooks use garam masala in different ways for me it is the only way to finish off a dish because it brings all the flavours together. This explains it better. http://www.harighotra.co.uk/garam-masala
    let me know what you try next. Thanks Hari

    reply

  • Mixy

    Mixy

    24 March 2015 at 15:31 |
    I am so happy to have found Hari's recipes!!!
    Thanks a lot for sharing them with us. It is great work and inspiration!

    I have a couple of quick questions :-)
    - seeds vs ground cumin and coriander: are they interchangeable? If they are? Would the ratio be 1 tsp seed :1 tsp ground? or something else?
    - garam masala: why is it added at the end and not fried in step 3 with the coriander seeds?

    Thanks!!!!

    reply

  • Hannah

    Hannah

    08 September 2014 at 14:56 |
    I love saag paneer but is usually something I only have when eating out or getting a takeaway. However, this weekend I was having an Indian inspired dinner party for some friends so I decided to try making it for the first time. I will definitely be making it at home again - Hari's recipe was easy to follow and the finished product was so much tastier than a takeaway. Highly recommended!

    reply

  • Amisha Surani

    Amisha Surani

    03 July 2014 at 13:46 |
    Wow, I didn't know that! I'll look out for those in my local Indian grocers.

    reply

  • Hari

    Hari

    03 July 2014 at 12:03 |
    FYI they are also known as mustard greens.

    reply

  • Hari

    Hari

    03 July 2014 at 12:01 |
    Yes they are completely different - they are greens rather than a herb. Saag is traditionally made with mustard leaves but they can be difficult to get hold of. Let me know how you get on!

    reply

  • Amisha Surani

    Amisha Surani

    03 July 2014 at 11:57 |
    Great tips - are mustard leaves different to curry leaves?

    reply

  • Hari

    Hari

    03 July 2014 at 11:50 |
    Glad you are enjoying the recipes and experimenting with the food! Combination of the two greens would be better. To really pack in the flavours you can also use mustard leaves as well. Hope you keep trying the dishes and exploring the site!

    reply

  • Amisha

    Amisha

    03 July 2014 at 11:39 |
    Such gorgeous recipes! Inspired by Hari's take on saag paneer, I tried it out with kale instead. It was delicious - especially the sizzling chilli flakes on top - but next time I'll try a combination of kale and spinach to mellow the flavour. Yum!

    reply

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Hari Ghotra