Saag Paneer

Saag Paneer

From Ellen's kitchen, with thanks to the Food Network

Ingredients for Saag:
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • salt
  • 3 tbs plus 1 1/2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 12 oz of Paneer, cut into squares
  • 1 (16 oz package) frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 1 (1 inch) thumb of ginger, peeled, and grated or finely chopped
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 chopped serrano chile, with seeds and pith removed
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • a large bowl, whisk tumeric, cayenne, 1 tsp salt, and 3 tbs oil.  Gently drop in cubes of paneer and gently toss, taking care with cubes.  Let marinate while getting rest of ingredients together.  
  • spinach in microwavable bowl in microwave on high for 5 minutes.  Puree in food processor until smooth.  
  • large, nonstick skillet over medium heat, and add paneer as pan warms.  Let cook for afew minutes and then give pan a toss.  Each piece of paneer should be browned on one side.  Fry another minute or two and then remove from paneer onto plate.
  • remaining 1 1/2 tbs oil to pan.  Add onions, ginger, garlic, and chile.  Saute until evenly toffee-colored, about 15 minutes.  Add a few tbs of water if feel too dry. 
  • garam masala, coriander, and cumin.  If haven't already, add a sprinkle of water to keep spices from burning.  Cook, stirring often, until smell is melodius, 3-5 minutes.
  • spinach and stir well, incorporating spiced onion mixture with spinach.  Add a little salt and 1/2 cup water, stir and cook for about 5 minutes with lid off.
  • yeat off.  Add yogurt, a little at a time, to keep for curdling.  Once yogurt is well mixed, add paneer.  Turn heat back on, cover and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes.  Serve.  

Ingredients for Paneer:

  • 8 cups whole milk (2% also works)
  • 1/4 cup freeshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more if needed
  • large colander with large double layer of cheesecloth, and set in sink.
  • large pot, bring milk to gentle boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to avoid burning bottom.  Takes quite a while, so be patient.
  • lemon juice and turn heat to low.  Stirring gently, you should almost immediately see curds (white milk solids) and whey (greenish liquid) separate.  This is perfect.  If doesn't separate quickly, add another tsp or two of lemon juice.
  • pot from heat and carefully pour contents into cheese-cloth lined colander.  Gently rinse with cool water to get rid of lemon flavor.  Squeeze out some of the liquid.  Grab ends of cheesecloth and twist ball of cheese to squeeze out excess whey.  Put back in colander and allow cheese to drain for about 5 minutes.
  • the ball to compact the cheese into a block, place on plate with twisted part on side and set another plate on top, with heavy pot or few cans on top.  Place in fridge and let sit about 20 minutes, knowing that more liquid will leach from cheese.


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