Meatless monday: saag paneer

Main Dish
4 servings
30 min
15 min
Very Easy


Number of serving: 4
2 1/2 tablespoons canola oil or ghee

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced red onions

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon dried methi leaves, soaked in 3 tablespoons hot water

1 chunk fresh ginger, peeled and cut into slices

4 large cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

1 long piece fresh turmeric root, peeled and sliced (or 1/4 teaspoon ground dried turmeric)

1-3 green thai chilies, stemmed

1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

- 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper flakes

7 cups mixed fresh greens, including at least mustard greens and spinach, large veins and stems removed and roughly chopped

1/4-1/2 cup water

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1/2 cup cream

8 ounces paneer, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and pan fried until golden brown, then drained and cooled


  • Heat the oil or ghee in a heavy bottomed, deep skillet or pot over medium high heat and add onions when the oil shimmers. Sprinlkle with salt and cook, stirring as needed, until the onions are a nice medium golden brown. Add the mustard and cumin seeds.
  • Grind together the next few ingredients, from the dried methi leaves to the Aleppo pepper flakes, into a yellowish green paste, using some of the soaking liquid from the methi as needed to make a smooth paste.
  • When the mustard seeds sputter and pop, add the spice paste, and cook, stirring, until everything is fragrant and the onions are a reddish brown. Add the greens all at once, and stir in the water, starting with the smaller amount.
  • Cook, stirring until the greens deepen in color and wilt.
  • Once the greens are wilted, stir in the yogurt and cream. Bring to a simmer, and add the paneer, and cook, stirring, until the cheese is heated through and spongy–about five to ten minutes.
  • Add salt to taste and serve with naan or roti or steamed basmati rice.


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