Saag Paneer is an Indian food winter delicacy because during winters greens like fresh fenugreek leaves(Methi), Amaranth leaves, Spinach (Palak), tender chickpeas leaves(Choliya) etc are grown in abundance. Saah paneer also teaches us to go back to the roots and eat local and seasonal. Another well-known dish of winter is Sarso ka saag (mustard leaves) served with Makki ki Rotti but this saag needs a special mention as lots of green leaves are added. Experiment with the green leaves. Let's see how to make Saag Paneer recipe.
Winter season in India means lots of local greens like mustard greens (Sarso) fenugreek (Methi), Spinach (Palak), green Chickpeas leaves (Choliya/Hara Chana) and Red Amaranth leaves, tender radish leaves. Basically use green leafy seasonal and local.
Search for the leaves as suggested in the above list, in case you are not able to find any one of them. Replace the quantity with the leaves which you could find. Wash the greens very carefully as they are susceptible to insects and lot of mud.
Clean them properly. check the Notes section.
Coarsely chop all the greens except the herbs like - Indian Holi Basil (Tulsi), mint, coriander and curry leaves.
Blanch the chopped greens and let it cool down. Once it comes to room temperature, blend it in a food processor along with the herbs like Tulsi, Mint, Curry leaves and coriander with 5-6 pulses to make a fine paste.
Preparing the Saag Paneer gravy-Heat vegetable oil in the wok/Kadhai and fry the paneer cubes till they turn brown. Take them out with the help of a slotted spatula and place them on a kitchen towel to remove excess oil.
In the same pan, add finely chopped onion and cook till they are translucent. Add ginger paste followed by garlic paste. let the raw smell goes off and they turn brown.
Now add the finely ground saag paste (fenugreek- spinach- amaranth- radish - green chickpeas leaves) and give a stir for few times.
Add Curd and cashew nut paste. Stir it.
Add Cinnamon powder and a pinch of nutmeg powder.
Combine fresh cream (Malai) or store-bought fresh cream, salt, and black pepper powder. Do not add usual Indian spices and pwoders like Garam masala, Curry masala or turmeric as greens taste good in itself and do not need enhancers.
Add Paneer (cottage Cheese) cubes and give a stir. Cover the lid, let it simmer for few minutes.
Saag Paneer, the special winter greens local Indian dish is ready. Its a must have during winters as it has all the available greens. Serve it with paratha, Kulcha, phulka or rice.
How to make Paneer Soft after frying – This recipe needs sauteing of paneer cubes which make it chewy. To make it soft. add a pinch of salt in warm water and soak the sauteed paneer till you use it in the gravy. It will remain soft.
How to make Cashew paste – Soak 10 -12 Cashew in 3 tablespoons of warm water for 30 minutes, give 5-6 pulse in the same soaked water. Approx 3 tablespoon cashew paste would be ready. Use it to make a smoothie or put in the curry.
How to clean green leaves – Here is the simple method to clean Indian Greens, Chop the roots(Maximum mud is accumulated here). Put it into a large bowl and soak them in water. Shake it few times with your hand and just pick it up. The dirt will settle at the bottom. Repeat it
About the Author: This Recipe has been shared by home chef Geeta Biswas who is a simple yet experienced homemaker. She feels that just like kids grow up with their toys, in the same way, she has grown up with her recipes. Ingredients are her tools and she loves making innovative recipes which have built up her identity.