Authentic Saag Paneer Recipe – A Classic Indian Delight
Saag Paneer is a traditional Indian dish known for its rich flavors and wholesome ingredients. This vegetarian delight combines fresh spinach (saag) with paneer (Indian cottage cheese) to create a nutritious and delicious curry. Let’s explore how to make this authentic Saag Paneer recipe step by step.
For the Spinach Paste:
- 500g fresh spinach leaves, washed and blanched
- 2-3 green chilies, chopped
- 1-inch ginger, grated
- 4-5 garlic cloves
- 250g paneer, cubed
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp oil or ghee
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder (adjust to taste)
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup cream or yogurt (optional)
- Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
1. Prepare the Spinach Paste:
- Begin by blanching the spinach leaves in boiling water for 2-3 minutes until they wilt. Drain and immediately transfer them to cold water to retain the vibrant green color.
- Squeeze out excess water from the spinach and blend it into a smooth paste along with green chilies, ginger, and garlic. Set aside.
2. Pan-fry the Paneer:
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil or ghee in a pan over medium heat.
- Add the paneer cubes and sauté them until they turn golden brown. Remove the paneer from the pan and set aside.
3. Prepare the Saag Paneer Curry:
- Heat the remaining oil or ghee in the same pan.
- Add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Then, add chopped onions and sauté until golden brown.
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes and cook until they soften and the oil separates from the masala.
- Add the coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. Cook for a couple of minutes until the spices are well incorporated.
- Add the prepared spinach paste and mix well. Cook for 5-7 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
- If using cream or yogurt, stir it in and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Gently fold in the pan-fried paneer cubes, ensuring they are well-coated with the spinach mixture.
- Simmer the curry for a few more minutes, adjusting the seasoning if needed.
4. Garnish and Serve:
- Transfer the Saag Paneer to a serving dish.
- Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
- Serve hot with steamed rice, naan, or roti.
Enjoy the goodness of Saag Paneer, a comforting and flavorful Indian dish that’s perfect for vegetarians and anyone looking to savor authentic Indian flavors. Share this delightful recipe with friends and family for a memorable dining experience!