Saag Paneer Revisited by Celebrity Chef Gurpareet Bains
Serves 2–3 as a main, or 4 as a side dish
Saag paneer has been one of my favorite foods from a very young age. My fondest memory of it is from a trip to Uttar Pradesh, the Wild West of India; Bhuaji served us steaming bowlfuls laden with ghee.
In this recipe, I rehabilitate saag paneer by taking it far away from its love relationship with saturated fats, and bringing it back as something, as yummy as ever, whilst packing into it a potent trilogy of low-fat superfoods. Garlic and spinach help guard against heart disease, and tofu is a soy product, which the American Heart Association has found to be beneficial for cardiovascular health. Who’d have thought that one of our Indian classics could turn out to be so angelic?
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons grated (peeled) fresh root ginger
2–6 green chillies, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1lb 2oz baby spinach, washed, drained and coarsely chopped
7 fl oz light coconut milk
9 oz firm tofu, drained and cut into bite-size pieces
Place the olive oil in a deep saucepan with the garlic, ginger and chillies and cook over a low-medium heat until golden brown in color, stirring frequently – this will take no more than 5 minutes (if the garlic and ginger stick to the pan, add a few drops of cold water).
Sprinkle in the salt and turmeric, stirring well, and cook for 20 seconds. Add the spinach in two batches, one batch first and the second when the first batch has wilted, stirring frequently. Cover and cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring regularly to allow the mixture to cook evenly.
Pour in the coconut milk. Using a hand-held blender, blitz the mixture to a purée (to do this, you may need to transfer the spinach to a smaller dish, then return it to the saucepan). Stir in the tofu and heat through.
Serve with raita and naan or a bread of your choice.
One serving = 220%+ RDA Antioxidants
Antibacterial – chilli, garlic, ginger, turmeric
Antifungal- chilli, garlic, ginger, turmeric
Antiviral – garlic, turmeric
Anti-inflammatory – chilli, garlic, ginger, turmeric
Analgesic – chilli