Sag Paneer is one of my favourite Indian vegetable dishes. It is a mixture of spinach and an Indian cheese called paneer, which housewives make fresh every day. Most sag paneers are cooked until the spinach is very soft and really loses its spinach taste and consistency. This is a much fresher version. Paneer resembles ricotta cheese and is made in a similar manner. I buy ricotta, put it in a sieve, cover with cheesecloth or a cloth and weight it down overnight to release some of its liquid. This makes an excellent approximation of paneer.
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp sliced garlic
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1 tsp nigella seeds (optional)
- 2 bunches spinach, stems removed and well washed
- ¼ cup yogurt
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
- 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese, pressed of its liquid and cut into cubes
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until pale gold. Remove garlic and reserve.
Reheat oil over medium heat and add cumin, mustard and nigella seeds. Sauté for 1 minute or until you can just smell the spices. Immediately add spinach and cook together until spinach is wilted. Sir in yogurt and season with salt and pepper. Stir in mint, ricotta and golden garlic and serve immediately with a tomato and onion salad and naan bread.