When people tell me that they don’t like Indian food, I take it a little personally. “What do you MEAN?,” I plea. I’m not sure why I am so serious about this – I am not of Indian descent, and I’m not a particularly well-versed at cooking Indian food (these being the 3rd and 4th Indian recipes I’ve mastered in my life), but I think it’s just that I enjoy this food so much, I feel disappointed when other people don’t get to experience this deliciousness.

For the uninitiated: saag paneer is a dish made of spinach, fragrant spices,  and paneer (a non melting farmer’s cheese that’s popular in Indian cuisine). Naan is a flat bread that goes great with all things sc0op-able.  There are many different mix-ins that can be included in the dough – including, shredded carrot, cilantro, and chilies. My stand-out favorite, though, is garlic.

I spent Sunday afternoon making a bunch of naan, and although I spend the rest of the day smelling like butter and garlic, it was totally worth it. This recipe makes about 15 pieces of naan, and it freezes beautifully. Just make sure you freeze each piece of naan indivudllay — I layered them in a big sheet pan with layers of wax paper in between. Once they’re each frozen, you can throw them into a freezer bag and keep them all together.  Heat them up in the oven for about 5 minutes at 350  when you’re ready to eat ’em.

As for the saag paneer – excellent! . True confession: this was not only the first time I made it, but the first time I ate it! My friend Aimee looooves this dish and gets it every time we go out for Indian.  She came over to help me cook (and taste test) and gave this recipe the thumbs up. When we went to the Indian grocery store to pick up a few ingredients (and mango ice cream! yum!), the clerk at the store tried to talk me into buying a pre-made mix. Sorry dude, this is way too easy to let someone else do it for me.


Garlic Naan

Ingredients:

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4  flour (plus about 1/2 cup more, if needed)
  • 3 cloves garlic,  minced
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and let stand for about 10 minutes until frothy
  2. Mix in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and garlic and enough flour to make a soft dough (about 4 cups)
  3. Kneed dough for 6-8 minutes, if too sticky, add in about half a cup of extra flour
  4. Place in a well oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and let it rise for about 1 hour
  5. Pinch of small handfuls of dough, roll into a ball, and place on a tray. You should end up with about 15 balls of dough.
  6. Cover with a towel and allow to rise for another 30  minutes
  7. When you’re ready to cook the naan, preheat the grill (if you have a stove top grill pan, it works great for this!).  Roll out the dough into a disc on a lightly floured surface. It will be thin at first , but it will puff up on the grill.
  8. Make sure the grill is will oiled. Brush one side of the naan with butter. Place butter side down on the grill, for 2-3 minutes. Brush the opposite side with melted butter, flip, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Naan should puff up and have grill marks.
  9. Enjoy it fresh or let it cool and freeze it.  Once frozen, it can be heated up in the oven for about 5 minutes at 350.


Saag Paneer

Ingredients:

  • 1 inch cube of peeled ginger
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 long green chili
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • vegetable oil
  • 7 oz paneer, cubed
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 lb spinach, (thawed and drained if using frozen)
  • 3 tablespoons cream

Directions:

  1. Roughly chop the ginger, garlic, and hot chili. Place them all in a food processor or blender with water and pulse into a paste
  2. Chop paneer into cubes. Heat oil in a large skillet and brown paneer cubes on all sides (This happens quickly). When the paneer is browned, remove it from the skillet and sprinkle it with garama masala, cayenne pepper, and salt.
  3. Add the ginger paste into the still-warm skillet. Cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
  4. Add spinach to the skillet, cover, and cook for about 10 minutes. If the spinach looks like it is dying out, add a bit of water to the pan.
  5. Add the paneer and cream and cook for another 10 minutes.

Notes:

  • The naan recipe is awesome for little pizzas and flat breads, so even if my insistence that you try Indian food hasn’t won you over, at least give the naan a chance.
  • A++ delicious. It’s totally worth making your own rather than buying it in a vacuum sealed pack from the grocery store
  • This saag paneer recipe doubles easily. Consider it!
  • Naan recipe via All Recipes
  • Saag Paneer recipe via Madhur Jaffrey
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About Ginny

Nerd. Dog Snuggler. Intrepid Social Worker. Lover of Delicious Things.

One response »

  1. […] than me. Lentils are great! This recipe is great! I want to scoop it up on a million pieces of garlic naan and eat it all day long. Lentils don’t exactly photograph well, but who cares? I’ve […]

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