Easy saagwala a luscious dish
Who needs takeaways when you can make this delicious curry at home?
Paneer is a fresh white cheese that’s common in Indian cuisine. It has a mild flavour, not dissimilar to ricotta, but its texture is more like halloumi. You’ll find paneer in the cheese section of most supermarkets. Halloumi makes a good substitute if you can’t find it.
PANEER AND MUSHROOM SAAGWALA
Serves 4 -5
2 tablespoons Indian spice mix* (see below) 200g paneer, cut into 1cm cubes 1 brown onion, thinly sliced 300g very finely chopped spinach leaves (stalks removed) 1 cup cream 3 cloves garlic, minced 3cm ginger, finely grated 100g button mushrooms, stalks removed, sliced
cup vegetable stock 2 tablespoons tomato paste juice of a lemon
cup chopped coriander
2 carrots, peeled, grated
cup natural unsweetened yoghurt juice of a lemon
cup chopped mint leaves
To serve: Steamed basmati rice.
Put 11⁄ teaspoons of Indian spice mix (reserve the remainder) and the paneer cubes in a medium bowl. Toss to coat in the spices. Heat a drizzle of oil in a large frying pan (preferably non-stick) over medium heat. Cook the paneer for about 2 minutes, shaking around in the pan to cook it on all sides, until golden brown, then remove from pan and set aside. Reduce the heat to low to medium, add the onion and a little extra oil, and cook for about 8 minutes until golden brown. If it looks like the onions or spices are catching and burning on the bottom of the pan, add a few tablespoons of water, stir, and they should lift from the bottom of the pan easily. Puree the spinach and cream together using a stick blender. Add another drizzle of oil to the frying pan with the onion in it and add the garlic, ginger and remaining spice mix. Cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and stock, cook for a further 2 minutes or until soft. Stir in the tomato paste and spinach cream mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes until sauce has thickened slightly. Return paneer to pan and squeeze in lemon juice. Stir to combine. Mix the carrots, yoghurt, lemon juice and mint together in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, divide the rice, curry and raita among plates. Garnish with coriander.
*Indian spice mix
Combine 1 teaspoon ground turmeric, teaspoon garam masala, 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon curry powder, and teaspoon salt. If you have yellow mustard seeds, add 1 teaspoon to the spice mix also.
Even the most ardent carnivores won’t notice the lack of meat in this tasty curry.