We tone it down a bit in the spice department at Fat Pig, because that way it marries well with our other dishes. You can spike it up more with extra chilli and garam masala, especially if making a full Indian meal. Matthew Evans, Gourmet Farmer Series 4
This is my version of the Indian classic with saag meaning greens (and we usually have a variety), and paneer being the fresh ‘cheese’ that we make in house.
- 500 g fresh spinach, kale, beet tops, or even better, a mix, well washed and tough stalks removed
- ¼ cup ghee (or butter with a dash of oil), plus 2 tbsp extra
- 2 large onions, very thinly sliced
- 4 large garlic cloves, grated or crushed
- 4 cm piece ginger, grated
- 1 fresh green chilli, seeded and thinly sliced or ¼ tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 large tomato, chopped (or 2-3 tbsp passata)
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 2-3 tbsp cream, yoghurt or a little extra ghee
- 150 g paneer, cubed
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Drop the greens into a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water and cook for 1-2 minutes or until just wilted. Drain well, then squeeze out any excess moisture. Finely chop the stalks and coarsely chop the leaves – you want a bit of texture so if using baby spinach don’t chop the leaves at all – they will break down beautifully on their own.
Heat ¼ cup ghee in a large frying pan over low heat. Add the onion and cook until starting to catch and brown – the longer you do this, the better. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for another 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the turmeric and cumin and stir for 30 seconds or until fragrant but not scorched. Add the tomato and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the greens and 2-3 tbsp water and cook until tender. Add the garam masala and cook for 5 minutes, then season to taste with salt, pepper and extra spices if necessary. Stir in the cream or yoghurt to enrichen it a little.
Heat the extra ghee in a frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the paneer and cook until golden on all sides. Stir the paneer into the saag and serve immediately.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Lucy Tweed. Food preparation by Tammi Kwok. Creative concept by Belinda So.