Paneer is a very popular Indian cottage cheese, which is also available all over the world. The first time I ever tried Paneer was when I first visited India, at the age of six. I knew instantly that is something I definitely wanted a lot more of!! I distinctly remember this, but my mom says the first time I went to India I was only 3 years old, so I have no memories of it. She is right though, she presented a picture of me, next to the Taj Mahal, along with herself and my grandmother!! I love looking at these old pictures, especially seeing pictures that contains 3 generations of any family, somehow gives me goose bumps.
Anyway back to saag paneer, this dish is usually very high in calories, but I have managed to reduce that, by adding yoghurt instead of full fat cream. If you know me well, you know that I am not a big fan of deep frying food, but the dish requires the paneer to be fried!! So, instead of overloading my pan with oil, I reduced the amount by half and lightly fried the paneer. I have made this with spinach, but you can make it with peas as well, and the name for that would be ‘Matar Paneer’!
300 Grams Paneer
200 Grams Spinach
3 Tomatoes (chopped into small pieces)
1 Onion, minced
1 Tbsp Garlic Paste
1 Tbsp Ginger Paste
½ Tsp Turmeric Powder
1 Tsp Cumin Powder
1 Tsp Chili Powder
1 Tbsp Coriander Powder
1 Tsp Fenugreek Leaves (dried)
½ Cup Yoghurt
½ Tsp Garam Masala Powder
Salt to taste
Chop up the paneer into one inch cubes.
Heat half a cup of oil or ghee, in a pan.
Once hot, add the paneer, and lightly fry till all the sides are golden brown.
Take the paneer cubes out and set aside in a bowl, and cover with a cup of warm water. (This helps the paneer from drying out)
In the same pan, add the onions with the garlic and ginger paste. Sautee till the onions start to brown.
Add all the powdered spices (except for Garam Masala) to the pan. Mix well to form a sauce.
Add the chopped tomatoes and season to taste. Stir well for 5 minutes.
Now add the spinach. You can add it in two batches, because when it wilts it will shrink so much you will wish you added some more.
Add the fried paneer and sprinkle on the dried fenugreek leaves.
In a bowl beat the yoghurt with half a cup of water.
Slowly add this to the pan, and stir well to form a nice yellow curry.
Stir well for a couple of minutes, and then add the garam masala powder.
Cover and cook on low heat for another 10 minutes. Stirring intermittently.
Serve with some whole wheat paratha.