Whenever I go to an Indian restaurant I would see “saag” in their menu and I always used to think that only restaurants can make such complicated recipes with greens and I can never do this at home. As if just to challenge my thoughts, this weekend all of a sudden my husband bought a huge bunch of collard greens from the local farmers market and I did not want to waste it so I quickly thought of trying out Saag paneer at home with the collard greens.
Saag paneer is basically pureed greens cooked with cottage cheese(Paneer). It is usually prepared with mustard greens but in US its really hard to find mustard greens so I decided to try this recipe with Collard greens. Paneer is a very popular cheese in Indian cuisine, it does not melt and retains its shape even after cooking. This recipe can be prepared with any type of greens like spinach, chard greens or mustard greens.
Collard Greens – 1 bunch
Paneer – 10 pieces, cubed
Corn Kernels – A handful(Optional)
Onion – 1 , finely chopped
Tomato – 1, finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Kitchen king or garam masala – 2 tsp
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Jeera(Cumin seeds) – ½ tsp (To temper)
Oil – 2 tbsp
- Take the stem off the collard greens leaves and wash them thoroughly in cold water, blanch the collard greens in hot water for 5 mins and blend the blanched leaves in a blender to make a smooth puree of the leaves.
You can fry the paneer if you like but I always use them raw to make it healthy 🙂
Add a tablespoon of oil in a pan, sauté the ginger garlic paste, finely chopped onion and tomato until the raw smell goes and they would turn mushy.
Add the onion tomato mixture to a blender and grind them to a smooth paste.
Heat a pan, add a tablespoon of oil to it, once the oil turns hot add the cumin seeds into it and allow them to splutter.
Then add in the onion-tomato and the collard greens puree and cook them for 5 mins so that they all get incorporated really well.
Add the garam masala, chilli powder and salt, cook for 2 mins.
Finally add in the paneer cubes and fold them together slowly with the saag.
Serve this hot with roti or rice.
You can add some corn kernels to this recipe to give it a nice crunch, I always do that to give it a nice twist.
- You can increase or decrease the onion-tomato, masala powders as per your taste.
If you do not have paneer just replace it with Garbanzo beans(channa) or just corn.
I make this recipe in a very simple way without adding a lot of spices as any dishes made with greens I like to keep it subtle.
To make restaurant style saag, add some fresh cream to it before you serve which gives richness to this dish.