Photo credit: Gus the Great
On a lovely trip to my parents’ lake cabin in north Idaho this summer, my daughter and her beau made us this healthy, tasty, veg meal for dinner one evening. It was a hit! Sarah Rose and Gus were inspired by Saag Paneer they’d eaten at Indian restaurants in Manhattan, so they developed this recipe at home.
Listen: Try Justin Townes Earle’s 2010 album, Harlem River Blues. As the heir to Townes Van Zandt’s name and Steve Earle’s music, Justin has a bluesy-country style with New York-inspired lyrics and a little rockabilly on this album.
Sip: Since we were in the Northwest, we enjoyed a 2015 Columbia Valley Pinot Gris from Maryhill’s Tudor Hills Vineyards. It’s bright and crisp – a refreshing complement to the curry.
This recipe serves 4 people as a main course and is easily adapted for a bigger crowd. It’s also a healthy, satisfying lunch that’s easily packed for work or school days.
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 tablespoons neutral oil (more later for Paneer)
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons ginger, peeled, fresh, finely chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1.5 large bags of frozen spinach
1.5-2 blocks of Paneer cheese*
1-2 tablespoons neutral oil
brown rice if desired
*You may also make your own Paneer from scratch.
- Heat neutral oil and cook onions until browned. Add a little salt to hep the onions sweat.
- Once the onions are brown, add as much curry powder as you like.
- Add ginger and garlic and sauté until fragrant, 30-60 seconds.
- Toss in tomatoes and frozen spinach.
- Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more curry powder as needed to your taste.
- Dice Paneer into 3/4″ cubes. Toss in a bowl with seasonings of choice, such as cumin, salt, and pepper.
- Heat oil in a sauté pan. Toss in cheese cubes and sauté until browned on all sides.
- Toss all ingredients together, season to taste, and serve. (Salt brings out the flavor of the curry pretty dramatically. Start with a little and add more as needed.)
- Serve alone or over brown rice if you wish.