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Saag Paneer

by Susan Hanna

If you love Indian food, this Canadian Living recipe for saag paneer—cooked spinach with paneer cheese—will not disappoint. Blanch and purée the spinach and set aside. Cook the cumin and onion in butter and add ginger and garlic. Stir in the cilantro, remaining spices and the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes break down. Stir in the spinach, yogurt, lemon juice, garam masala and cubed paneer and cook until heated through.

Serves 6.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I was delighted to find additive-free paneer at the grocery store—check the label to make sure it does not contain sulphites or other preservatives. Make sure the dried spices don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents and that the butter does not contain colour. I used Astro Original Balkan-Style yogurt. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches spinach trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
  • ¾ teaspoon (3.75 ml) cumin seeds
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) butter
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) finely grated gingerroot or minced
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) finely chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) ground Indian hot pepper or ½ tsp (2.5 ml) cayenne pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon (3.75 ml) salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) turmeric
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 3 plum tomatoes peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup (82.5 ml) plain Balkan-style yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) lemon juice
  • 3/8 teaspoons (1.87 ml) garam masala
  • 8 oz (226 g) paneer cubed

Preparation:

  1. In large pot of boiling salted water, blanch spinach just until wilted; drain, chill under cold water and drain again. In food processor, purée spinach with ¼ cup (60 ml) water; set aside.
  2. In large deep skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; cook cumin seeds until slightly darkened, about 10 seconds. Add onion and butter; cook until onion is golden, about 8 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to medium; stir in garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Stir in fresh coriander, hot pepper, salt, ground coriander, turmeric and cinnamon; cook, stirring, until very fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring, until tomatoes break down, about 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in puréed spinach; cover and cook, stirring occasionally and adding 1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 ml) water if mixture is no longer saucy, until steaming hot, about 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in yogurt, lemon juice and garam masala; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low; add paneer. Cover and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.

From Canadian Living

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