Thursday, February 28, 2008

saag paneer

saag paneer is my fallback indian restaurant order. it's different at every restaurant, and finding a definitive recipe is almost impossible. i pulled this together from several different recipes. i also wanted to make it without ghee, buttermilk, half&half, or any of the other fatty things that make it really creamy (and delicious). i was actually pretty amazed at how yummy this turned out to be.

2 warnings: (1)this is a pretty time consuming dish--i will definitely make this again, but never again in such a small quantity. (2)you will need to watch the pan. this is not the kind of thing where you can walk out of the room, check your email, have a smoke, and come back to check on things. keep things stirring, and adjust your heat if need be.

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 bunches fresh spinach (1)
1 onion, diced
2 cm. ginger, grated (2)
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp ground coriander seeds (3)
2 tsp cumin (4)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (5)
1/2 tsp turmeric (6)
1/2 tsp garam masala (7)
250 mL plain yogurt
100 g paneer

(1)ほうれんそう (2)しょうが (3)コリアンダー (4)クミン (5)チリーペッパー (6)ターメリック (7)ガラムマサラ

i got everything from e-town in kosugi.

i listened to car talk while making this.

let's go!
1. make the paneer. i have read that crumbled tofu or ricotta cheese can be used instead, but i'm skeptical. paneer has a really mild taste, but it still has a taste. i think you'd really be missing that with the tofu. ricotta is not the same thing, but it might work. if you can find it in toyama, let me know. cut the paneer into little pieces and toss in a bit of oil & turmeric. set aside.

2. now, the spinach--baby spinach is too delicate for this dish, so make sure you use grown-up spinach. separate the leaves from the stems and wash them. spinach is notoriously gritty, so do this well. blanch the spinach--bring water to a boil, turn off the heat, and throw in the spinach for about 30 seconds. the spinach will turn a pretty green color. put the spinach in ice cold water. drain. squeeze as much water as possible out of the spinach and set aside for later. the spinach below is pre-squeeze--if yours still looks like this, there's too much water in it. squeeze!!!

3. saute the onion and garlic in vegetable oil until your onions start to caramelize (turn brown).

4. add the lemon juice, spinach, ginger, and all the spices except for the garam masala. stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

5. process the spinach in a food processor or blender. don't puree--pulse to make sure it's still a bit chunky. if you don't have a blender, don't worry about this part. really, don't worry. calm down.

6. mix in the yogurt and garam masala stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

7. add the paneer. stir (but not too hard) over medium heat for 3 or 4 minutes.

this meal made me moan out loud. truth.

1 comment:

Erika Candice Bateman said...

These pictures gave me 'ood.