Sunday, May 20, 2012

Saag Paneer

Ok, this is Saag Paneer only in the literal sense: saag (greens) and paneer (cheese) in one dish.
I was on Commercial Drive this morning and came home with greens, tomatoes, chili peppers and some premade roti paratha. I sat myself down and proceeded to research potential dishes. I was inspired by this post on Quick Indian Cooking, and educated (and inspired) by this post on Monsoon Spice. I decided I wasn't ready to try the authentic version of these recipes - I was missing ingredients here and there, so I jumped into concocting in my kitchen. I didn't think I would puree the greens, the thought made me a little queasy, but I did and the result was delicious.

Linda's (Not Quite) Saag Paneer

1 onion, minced
2 tomatoes, diced
2 chili peppers, chopped
1 tsp garlic pureed
1 tsp ginger, pureed
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp round coriander
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp turmeric
2 bunches kale, finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped mint
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 lb paneer (tofu would work okay, but wouldn't be the same)
turmeric and salt for dusting.

Sweat the onion, garlic and ginger in cooking fat of your choice (I used a little grapeseed oil - ghee would be more authentic). Soft and sweet is the desired result. Add spices and peppers, cook for  a minute or two, then stir in tomatoes. Simmer for 20 minutes or so. Meanwhile, wash and  remove the stems from the kale. Finely chop it, then stir in to the simmering pot. Continue to cook for 20-25 minutes, longer if you want a creamier result -  I like a little texture to my veggies. Pulse in food processor with mint and cilantro. Return to pot.
I cut the paneer in thin triangles, dusted it with a little salt and turmeric and then quickly seared it both sides. Once the paneer is seared, pop it into the greens curry and simmer for 5 minutes or so. Adjust consistency as desired (I needed to add a little water to mine).

Serve with paratha or rice or whatever you like! My non-vegetarian husband actually loved this dish.

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