This comforting, savory stew of spiced sautéed spinach with rich imported Paneer Cheese is an Indian takeout favorite that originated in Punjab, India, where greens grow in abundance! But this dish is really all about the mild, dense, cheese which adds both richness and a fantastic firm bite next to the soft creamy greens. It’s traditionally served with basmati rice and naan for an easy meatless meal or side dish.
- 1 white onion cut into chunks
- 4 large garlic cloves
- 1 TB coarsely chopped ginger
- 1 Serrano pepper stem removed
- 2 TB butter or ghee divided
- 8 oz paneer cut into cubes
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp kosher salt divided
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 16 oz frozen chopped spinach defrosted (or 6 cups cooked spinach)
- 2 TB water or heavy cream
- 1 TB lemon juice
- Puree onion, garlic, ginger, and Serrano pepper in a blender or food processor (or finely chop and combine Into a paste).
- Heat 1 TB butter or ghee in a large nonstick sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add paneer cubes, turmeric, and 1/2 tsp salt. Toss to coat and lightly brown paneer on all sides. Remove paneer from the pan to a plate.
- Add remaining 1 TB butter or ghee, lower heat, and add onion puree and remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Cook, stirring often for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Stir in garam masala, chili powder, and cayenne pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add spinach, browned paneer cubes, and water or heavy cream. Simmer, covered, over medium-low heat for 5 minutes for flavors to meld. Stir in lemon juice and season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
Tip: To speed prep you can skip the step of browning the paneer and just add the cubes in with the spinach to heat through. If you can’t find imported Paneer you can swap in imported Halloumi cheese instead.