This saag paneer recipe is a little more complicated than most recipes I share, but it is 100% worth the extra effort! If you are unfamiliar with it, saag paneer is a creamy Indian dish made of spinach and cheese. I was a little skeptical when Will first suggested we make it, since creamed spinach isn’t my thing, but this was so good! Saag is Hindi for greens; paneer is a simple cheese that doesn’t melt when heated or fried. Paneer is actually relatively simple to make at home since you don’t need any special enzymes like other cheeses.
We picked up a ton of spinach at the farmers’ market thinking that it had been too long since we last made some delicious saag paneer! I served it over some lentils and topped with a few cherry tomatoes for color. Naan bread is also a classic side! To make this dish go a little quicker, we opted out of frying the paneer in ghee like the traditional dish. Honestly, I think it turns out just as well either way.Print
Saag paneer is a classic vegetarian dish full of Indian spices, spinach, cream, and cheese.
- FOR THE PANEER
- 1/2 gallon whole milk (non-homogenized works best)
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- FOR THE SAAG PANEER
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 small onion, chopped (~1/4 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 lb spinach leaves
- 1/2 lb paneer, chopped in 1″ pieces
- To make the paneer, heat milk in a medium saucepan to a gentle boil. Stir occasionally.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in the lemon juice. You should start to see curds. (If you don’t add another tablespoon of lemon juice.) Once curds begin to form, remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Ladle the curds into a colander lined with cheesecloth and fitted over a bowl.
- Twist the cheesecloth up around the curds, squeezing gently to remove excess whey. Place cheese wrapped in the cloth onto a rimmed cookie sheet. Weigh it down with another board and some heavy objects to flatten the cheese ball in the cloth and remove additional whey. Allow the curds to sit like this for at least 30 minutes up to 3 hours.
- For the saag paneer, melt the butter in a large stock pot. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the milk, garlic, garam masala, curry, and ginger. Stir to combine.
- Add the spinach to the pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally as the spinach wilts. Cook for about 10 minutes until the sauce thickens and the spinach is completely wilted.
- Transfer to a food processor and pulse until smooth.
- Pour pureed spinach back into the saucepan and add the chopped paneer. Heat over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve!