The last time I made Saag I used chicken and my friend Therese said that Saag Paneer is so much better as the flavor of the chicken overwhelms the sauce. This inspired me to make my own paneer which I used in this recipe, and the result was sheer perfection! I am so glad that I did this, it’s now my absolute favorite dish! Thanks Therese for the inspiration!
10 Ounces Spinach Leaves, washed
1 Inch piece Fresh Ginger Root, grated
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 Jalapeno, top removed, do not remove seeds
1 Cup Water
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 Bay Leaves
¼ Teaspoon Black Peppercorns
1 Onion, finely chopped
1-14 Ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
2 Teaspoons Curry Powder (I like to use yellow curry powder)
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Cumin
6-8 Tablespoons Plain Yogurt
2 Pounds Paneer, cut into cubes (fry in a little bit of butter to brown, if desired)
Cook the spinach, without water in a tightly covered pan for 5 minutes. In the meantime put the ginger garlic chili pepper and ¼ cup of the water into a food processor and process until very finely minced. Next add the cooked spinach and process just until spinach is finely cut up, no not puree completely.
Heat the oil, add the bay leaves and peppercorns and fry for 2 minutes. Add the onion and fry for 6-8 minutes more.
Add the canned tomatoes to the pan and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Add the curry powder, salt, chili powder, and cumin and stir well to mix. Allow to cook for 2 minutes.
Add the spinach puree and the remaining water to the pan, and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in the yogurt 2 Tablespoons at a time and simmer for 5 minutes. Cover and cook at a very low simmer for about 2 hours, for the flavors to meld together. (this is optional, but really makes the dish much more flavorful).
Add the paneer , cover and cook for 20 minutes more or until the paneer is heated through, stir in a little bit more yogurt and serve with warm naan bread, or over rice.