Saag Paneer

by Jun 19, 2020

This is a cheater saag paneer, quick and easy for when you need dinner on the table (and maybe have spinach bolting in the garden). The original recipe by Merrill Stubbs of Food52 was my starting point, and where you should return when you do have the time to toast and grind the spices. This is great with some basmati rice, naan (pick up the whole wheat or plain by Stonefire, and heat in toaster or oven), and if you are ambitious, a second dish of chicken and potato curry made with Maya Kaimal Jalfrezi simmer sauce. Enjoy!

Saag Paneer

recipe adapted from original by Merrill Stubbs, Food52

Servings 4 people


  • a sheet pan heaped with spinach leaves about 20 ounces if you're measuring, fresh leaves or frozen (thawed)
  • 2 tbsp ghee or avocado oil
  • 8 oz. paneer cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced and mashed with ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • ¼ tsp turmeric, ground
  • optional: ½ tsp cayenne or red chile flakes
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup cream or half-and-half, or additional buttermilk
  • several gratings of nutmeg
  • a few twists of freshly ground black pepper


  1. Roughly chop the spinach leaves and set aside. (If you're using frozen, remove from package and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.)

  2. Heat ghee or oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the paneer and brown on all sides, turning carefully with a wooden spatula or tongs, so you don't leave the crust stuck to the bottom of the pot. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.

  3. Add onion to pot and cook, stirring with a wooden spatula or spoon, until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic-salt mash, spices, ginger, and cook for a couple minutes.

  4. Turn up the heat to high and add the spinach; cook, turning from bottom to top, so it all wilts, about 5 minutes. Add the buttermilk-cream and simmer another 5 minutes until thickened. Add the nutmeg and black pepper, then stir in the paneer. Enjoy!

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