As a birthday gift a few years ago, my lovely siblings bought me a cooking class to take place in my own home surrounded by people of my choosing (which turned out to be them, of course). It took us about a year and half to get around to actually booking the thing, but it was fantastic. This is one of the dishes we made that night, and I have made it several times since and loved it every time. Simple, easy, healthy, and butt-loads of flavour. We had it with a simplified Peas Pullao done in my rice cooker, a Pakistani beef curry (post to come) and Stove Top Naan. Hope you enjoy it!
2 bunches fresh spinach chopped (or frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess moisture, or canned Saag, which is what I used this time)
1 lb diced paneer (I buy mine frozen at Superstore, although I did try to make my own this time, which I hope to perfect at another time, but I don’t think it will be as cost effective as the frozen version)
5 Tbsp canola oil (I’ve already cut a tablespoon and I think another could be cut without messing up the masala)
1 inch fresh ginger, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 med onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp dried fenugreek leaves/Methi (this makes a huge difference in flavour, so worth hunting out. I get mine at Superstore)
1 tsp each, gr. cumin, gr. coriander, salt
1/2 tsp each, garam masala, red chili powder (the Indian spice, very different from regular chili powder)
2 med tomatoes, diced
1. Heat oil in pan over medium to medium high heat and add ginger, garlic, onions, and fenugreek leaves. Stir until golden brown, then add the remaining spices and stir for 2 or 3 min, or until the aroma takes off (you will choke if you get too much of a face full).
2. Add the tomatoes and mix well. Cover and lower heat to medium, letting cook for about ten minutes until the mixture resembles a thick gravy. This is the masala.
3. Add paneer and spinach, mix well, and then cover it and let it simmer for 15 min. I add my paneer frozen and it is always hot enough. If you prefer your spinach pureed and you are using fresh, you should cook it separately and then puree before adding it to the masala. I find the fresh is nice just finely chopped, but to each his own.