To be honest, I don’t know the difference between Saag Paneer and Palak Paneer. Please educate me if you know!
I love love love Indian food, but the place near us has hit or miss Saag Paneer. A trip to the Indian food store for some item led me to meet the owner, who is fully willing to share his recipes! I’ve altered it a bit to suit more easily gained ingredients for me, but I’ll tell you what he suggests as well. This is the BEST Palak/Saag Paneer I have ever tasted and it really doesn’t take me long to make. Plan on about 20-30 minutes start to finish.
What you need:
1 lb fresh spinach
1 packet of palak from the Indian store. It comes frozen.
1 tbsp fenugreek (I bought this dried from the Indian store)
1 1/2 tbsp ghee (I have used butter or olive oil instead here and don’t notice a huge difference either way)
1 tsp fresh ginger
1 tsp garlic (2-ish cloves)
1 tsp onion (I usually use closer to 1/4 cup)
3-4 tsp masala spice
1/4 cup diced tomatoes (I always just add a full can of the canned type)
Fried Paneer (as much as you enjoy)
water if necessary
What you do:
Cook down the spinach with the palak and fenugreek. You may add water if you’d like to get the steaming going, but I usually don’t. Put it in a pot, cover it, and stir occasionally.
While that is cooking down, cut your paneer and start frying that. I use a tiny bit of olive oil to fry this. Having your pan pretty hot before you add the paneer so it sears. I buy a pretty large block of paneer and then freeze the extra fried paneer so I don’t have to do this step every time!
Once the spinach mix is cooked, strain out some of the water if you have a lot (like I always do).
In the same pot you cooked the spinach in, add the ghee/butter/oil (whichever you choose) and add the ginger, garlic and onion. Cook until the onion is turning yellow and soft.
Add the masala spice. 3 tsp is usually enough for us, but you might like more. Sautee a couple more minutes.
Add the tomatoes (don’t drain them), spinach mix, and water if you need it. I never need more water. Cook this for 7 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add the fried paneer and simmer for another 3 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!
Tips: You can freeze your fresh ginger so you always have some on hand without it drying out. Don’t be afraid to change some of the quantities in order to suit your tastes.
This is the palak I use: