Indian Creamed Spinach with Cheese (Saag Paneer)
Adapted/lightened from Food Network
I have to teach an Indian cooking class … which made me realize I’ve been slacking on Indian recipes on my blog. I’ve got lots of curries, yes, but not so many other Indian recipes. Perhaps many Indian recipes ARE indeed curry recipes, but I think I tend towards the Thai curry when I make curry.
So immediately upon deciding for an Indian food theme for our class, I thought of Butter Chicken, the top Indian recipe everybody dreams of when they think of Indian food. I HAD to make that … but what to go with it?
That lovely creamed spinach … oh yeah. I have had it at many an Indian buffet. I wanted to try making THAT. I searched and read through many many recipes … and landed on this one. This one seemed the most interesting … and I was really surprised how it tasted when it was done. It was that creamed spinach but oh so much more flavorful … and with a little bit of heat to it, too … not too much, just a bit of kick. The hunks of marinated cheese are delightful little surprises that bring your taste buds to a different dimension.
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons avocado oil
- 10 oz. paneer (or Farmer's or Mexican queso fresco), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 Tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled & chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
- A 1-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and chopped fine
- 1 small serrano chili, chopped fine
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground garam masala
- 1 - 16-oz. package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 1/2 cup plain nonfat or low fat yogurt
- 1 oz. Greek cream cheese (or neufchatel), broken into small pieces
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the turmeric, cayenne and avocado oil. Add the chopped cheese and gently toss to coat the cheese in the marinade. Set aside while you prep the other ingredients.
- When the rest of the ingredients are prepped and ready, heat a large frying or saute pan over medium heat and add the cheese as the pan warms. Let cook a couple minutes, then gently toss to turn the cheeses and cook for another minute or so. They should be lightly browned/slightly melted on one side and warm. Remove the cheese from the pan and set aside.
- There should be some residual oil from the cheese left in the pan, but add the 1/2 Tablespoon avocado oil as well and let it warm, then add the onion and saute for 10 - 15 minutes or so until the onion is very soft and translucent.
- Stir in the garlic, ginger and the chopped chili pepper and continue to cook, covering occasionally and stirring often, for about 10 - 15 more minutes, adding water (or a splash of wine) if needed to moisten the pan and loosen any browned chunks from the bottom. Cook until the onion is nicely browned and caramelized.
- Add the coriander, cumin and garam masala and cook a couple minutes more until the seasonings are nicely toasted.
- Stir in the spinach and cook until it is warm, then turn down the heat to low and stir in the yogurt and cream cheese, a bit at a time, until it is all incorporated and nicely melted. Stir in the toasted cheese chunks and let everything get nicely warm. Serve warm.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
© Copyright 2016, Sumptuous Spoonfuls. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to publish any of my images, please ask first. If you want to republish this recipe as your own, please re-write the recipe in your own words or link back to this post for the recipe.