Saag Paneer & Chickpeas
Saag = spinach and paneer = Indian cheese. We've made this classic Indian dish as weeknight friendly as possible, using frozen spinach and canned tomatoes. Enjoy the fragrant spices and aromatics that are part of every great Indian meal.
Smarts: We saute the paneer and chickpeas in turmeric, salt, and oil first for color, texture, and flavor.
- Frozen spinach - 16 oz, defrosted and drained of as much liquid as possible
- Onions, medium - 1, chopped
- Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
- Ginger - 1/2 inch, grated
- Jalapenos - 1, seeded and diced
- Cilantro (opt) - 1/4 bunch, chopped
- Diced tomatoes (14 oz / 397 g can) - 1 can, drained
- Paneer - 8 oz, cubed
- Garbanzo beans - 1 cup
- Turmeric - 1 Tbsp
- Cooking oil - 1 1/2 Tbsp + 1/2 tsp
- Coriander - 1 Tbsp
- Cumin - 1 1/2 tsp
- Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
- Naan - 4 pieces
- Yogurt, plain - 1/4 cup
- Spinach - Remove from bag and thaw in microwave or place bag in a bowl of warm water. Once thawed, drain out as much liquid as possible using a colander.
- Onions / Garlic / Ginger / Jalapenos / Cilantro - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Puree spinach - Drain tomatoes. Using a blender, food processor, or immersion blender, blend spinach and tomatoes until smooth. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Paneer - Cube.
- Garbanzo beans - Drain and rinse.
- Marinate proteins - Toss paneer and garbanzo beans with turmeric and some salt and marinate for at least 5 minutes.
- Heat a non-stick pan (if not using non-stick, you'll have much more trouble with paneer sticking to the pan and will have to compensate by using more oil) over medium-high heat. Add first part of cooking oil and then paneer and garbanzo beans to heated oil. Saute until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add second part of cooking oil. Add onions, garlic, ginger, and jalapenos to heated oil. Saute and caramelize aromatics for 3 to 5 minutes. If they ever look like they’re going to burn, just add a splash of water.
- Add coriander, cumin, and garam masala. Saute for another 2 minutes with spices. Again, add a splash of water if ingredients look they’re about to burn.
- Fold in pureed spinach and tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Warm or toast naan while saag is cooking.
- Stir in paneer and beans.
- Remove from heat and fold in yogurt. Season to taste with salt or any more spices. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy with naan!
I was surprised how good this was. I am getting better at checking the flavors in these dishes as I go along with the prep and adding seasoning as needed AND it is really making a difference. yay!0 Helpful
Lots of chopping. Subbed tofu for paneer.0 Helpful
Really good! I was skeptical since I eat a lot of Indian food so my standards were high. I ended up using frozen *creamed* spinach and omitted yogurt at the end. Didn't drain the spinach or tomatoes. Really tasty and fairly easy, even our 17 month old gobbled it up!0 Helpful
Not nearly as good as take out. I liked the method for marinating and cooking the paneer.0 Helpful
This was not liquidy enough. Perhaps I shouldn't have squeezed out as much liquid as I did from the spinach and likewise, I wouldn't drain the tomatoes next time. Making paneer was easier than I thought.0 Helpful
really quite a mess, but that could just be me and my chaotic style of cooking. in future, i would have the garbanzos in a side dish rather than in the saag paneer.0 Helpful