Today we travel deep into the rustic interiors of Punjab to bring you a traditional dish called Saag Paneer – a dish that draws the essence of its rich flavour from Mustard Oil. It has been a staple – and a favorite – across north India for thousands of years.
Here are the ingredients that you will need:
- Green Spinach (Saag): 1.5 kg
- Paneer: 400 gram, diced
- Onion: 1, medium sized
- Tomato: 1, puréed
- Mustard Oil: 3 tablespoons
- Ginger: Half a teaspoon, minced
- Red Chilli Powder: Half a teaspoon
- Coriander (Dhania) Powder: One teaspoon
- Cumin (Jeera) Powder: Just a pinch
- Turmeric (Haldi) Powder: Just a pinch
- Garlic: 1 clove
- Salt: to taste
Blanch the Spinach by placing it in boiling water for a minute and then transferring it to an ice-water bath. After blanching, dry the Spinach on a paper towel and then purée it to a fine paste. Also purée the onion and garlic and keep aside.
Heat the Mustard Oil in a pan on medium heat. Sauté the ginger along with the other spices. Add the onion and garlic purée, and cook till the onions take on a translucent, caramelized texture. Make sure that you don’t let the onions get burnt – that will ruin the flavour of the dish.
Now add the tomato purée, spinach purée and salt along with around 100 ml of water. Cook on a medium flame for around 5 minutes and then add the Paneer cubes. Stir for a minute or so and then cover the pan. After another minute remove the pan from the flame.
And your delicious Punjab-style Saag Paneer is ready to be served. This dish is usually eaten with Roti or steaming hot rice.