I don’t get to eat it very often, but saag paneer is one of my favorite ethnic Indian dishes.
Every time I go out for Indian food (it’s been years actually) it is the first thing that I heap onto my plate from the buffet. But making saag paneer at home is way simpler than I ever expected.
Homemade saag paneer is filling, satisfying, warming, and delicious! Not to mention it’s a low-carb dish and very keto friendly! I can’t think of a better dish to spice up your normal weekday menu plan. Because trust me, it’s easy enough for a weekday. The whole dish comes together in about 30 to 40 minutes.
This delightful dinner will be taking its rightful place in my menu rotation.
What Is Saag Paneer?
The prefix “saag” refers to a dish made with a leafy green vegetable that has been cooked with various spices into a soft and creamy textured dish similar to creamed spinach.
Most commonly saag is made with spinach and is served with paneer, a firm cheese with a bread- or tofu-like texture. Paneer cheese doesn’t melt but caramelizes nicely when fried.
Saag can be made with other leafy greens like mustard, kale, and chard and can have other additions like goat or lamb meat, potatoes, or other vegetables.
Paneer cheese can be purchased in most grocery stores that have a specialty cheese section or ordered online. Paneer can also be made at home with easy kits like this one.
Wash the cauliflower and break it into small chunks. With a knife or food processor continue to cut it down until the pieces are the size of grains of rice. If using a food processor work in batches so the rice comes out uniform size. Set the riced cauliflower aside.
In a large heavy-bottomed sauce pot add the ghee or oil and heat over medium-high heat. Dice the onion and add it to the pot. Mince the garlic and ginger and add them to the pot. Sauté this mixture until it starts to caramelize. Add the fire cider spice or garam masala and other spices. Stir the mixture well and let the spices toast for a minute or two. Turn the heat down to medium. Add the stock and all of the spinach and cook it down. Once the spinach is completely wilted add the coconut milk and stir again. Turn the heat down to low and let the saag simmer for 5 minutes.
In a separate nonstick cast iron or frying pan add the other 1/4 cup of ghee or oil. Cut the paneer cheese into 3/4-inch-square cubes. Heat the pan to medium-high and then add the cubed paneer. Fry the paneer on every side until golden brown. Salt the paneer and remove it from the heat.
Meanwhile use your blender or handheld blender to puree the saag sauce. I like my handheld blender so I can do it in the same pot. Taste the sauce and add salt 1/2 teaspoon at a time until it is salted to your liking. Add the fried paneer to the saag sauce and let it simmer over low heat for another 10 minutes.
In the same frying pan that you fried the paneer in, add 2 tablespoons of ghee or avocado oil and heat it over medium-high heat. Add the riced cauliflower and salt and cook it until tender but not browned.
Serve the saag paneer over a scoop of cauliflower rice and enjoy!
This recipe serves 6 to 8 people.
For the Saag Paneer
For the Fried Paneer
For the Cauliflower Rice