Easy saag­wala a lus­cious dish

Who needs take­aways when you can make this de­li­cious curry at home?

Matamata Chronicle - - Classified -

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

Car­rot raita

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.

PHOTO: MY FOOD BAG

Even the most ar­dent car­ni­vores won’t no­tice the lack of meat in this tasty curry.

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