This is Vikram Vij's rustic and quick version of the traditional saag paneer. Paneer is a fresh, mild Indian cheese and can be found in well stocked grocery stores or South East Asian supermarkets. If you don't have paneer, or don't wish to use it, you can use firm tofu or even chopped potatoes instead. Serve this spinach as a side dish to any meat or a second dish to lentils or beans.
1 1/2 lbs fresh spinach (about 3 bunches), with stems, washed and chopped in 1/2 inch pieces
10 oz paneer
1/2 cup cooking oil
2 tbsp chopped garlic, (6 medium cloves)
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes, (3 medium)
1 tsp turmeric
1 to 2 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tbsp ground coriander
5 cloves, optional
1 tsp ground cayenne, optional
- Place washed chopped spinach in a colander and allow any extra water to drain while you cook the masala.
- Cut paneer into bite-sized dice and set aside.
- Heat oil in a medium pot on medium-high for 45 seconds. Add garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Stir in tomatoes. Add turmeric, salt, cumin, coriander, cloves and cayenne and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, or until oil glistens on top. Stir in spinach and paneer and mix well. Don't worry if paneer cubes start to crumble. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until spinach has wilted.
Yield: Serves 4 as a main dish, or 6 as a side dish