Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saag Creamed Spinach

Saag is my favorite dish with Spinach. Saag Paneer is the most common way the dish is served. Paneer is a fresh curd cheese that usually comes in blocks at Indian markets. Usually the paneer cheese is chopped into cubes, pan-fried, and then immersed in the creamy spinach saag sauce. The only bad thing about it, is it can be hard to find and often pricey when you do find it. I did a little research on the internet, and apparently it is pretty easy and cheap to make your own. I haven't tried it yet, but I plan trying to make my own the next time I make Saag for dinner. I will report back when I do.

To start, defrost your spinach and squeeze out all of the excess water. To make the sauce, saute the first four ingredients in a pan for 5-10 minutes. In a separate pan, bloom the whole spices (cumin seeds, cardamom seeds, fenugreek, mustard seeds, coriander seeds and fennel seeds) by quickly frying them in oil in a skillet. Transfer them to a mortar and pestle and crush them up a bit. Add to the onions, garlic, and ginger. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the yogurt and stock. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, then add the yogurt, stock, and chilies. Mix well. At this point, use an immersion blender to cream up the spinach with the other ingredients. Get in there real good and spend enough time blending it up, so the spinach with get chopped up well and the sauce will be yummy and creamy. Add the chilies and cook for another 5 minutes. Take off of heat. Add cilantro if you decide to use it. After you put the sauce in your heated and sterilized jars, process in your hot water bath/canner for 35 minutes. Let cool on top of towel on counter top for 12 hours, screw lids tight, label, and store. This recipe makes about 3- pints of sauce.

*If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender at the end or just to break up the spinach more before you add it to the pan. If you use a regular blender at the end, just be careful since you will be pouring hot liquid into your blender (make sure the lid is on).

  • vegetable oil, enough to coat the pan
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1" piece of ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
  • dash of fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • 3 small green chilies, finely chopped
  • chopped cilantro (optional)
*If you don't have all of the whole spices and seeds or you don't want to go the trouble of stocking up on them, you can use a ground spice blend that has basically the same stuff in it. I have used the vegetable blend from "Mohini."

No comments:

Post a Comment