Saag Paneer is an Indian dish composed mostly of Saag – spinach and paneer – a firm white cheese. Here, I substitute tofu for the cheese which is a perfect alternative for its similar texture and flavor. You can also substitute the panner with chicken breast.
This dish is guaranteed to keep everyone in a crowd with every diet happy. Is super easy to make and it’s vegan, gluten-free, grain free and paleo friendly with the right choice of ingredient; tofu, paneer or chicken breast.
In a large bowl, whisk together the turmeric, cayenne, salt and olive oil. Add the tofu, paneer or chicken cubes to the bowl and let marinate for at least 30 minutes. Sauté the cubes and set it aside.
Sauté the onion, ginger, and Serrano chile and cook until the onion is translucent. Stir in garlic, masala, coriander and cumin sauté for 2 to 3 minutes to toast the spices. Add chopped cilantro and spinach, stirring frequently, until all the spinach has been added and has wilted, Remove from heat and blend halfway in a blender or food processor. Return the mixture to the same pot. Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to low, stir in yogurt and simmer until thickened, another 1 to 2 minutes. Fold in tofu, paneer or chicken cubes and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until everything is warmed through.
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 14-ounce package water-packed firm tofu, drained and cut into 1″ cubes or 12 ounces paneer, cut into 1-inch cubes or 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon freshly minced ginger
- 1 large green serrano chile, deseeded and finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 pound fresh baby spinach
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup low fat pre-stirred plain yogurt (for Vegan and strict paleo use soy or coconut yogurt)
1- In a large bowl, whisk together the turmeric, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the tofu, paneer or chicken to the bowl and let marinate for at least 30 minutes. If using tofu, drain all the water and put on a cloth to dry it out further and release excess water.
2- Place marinated tofu, paneer or chicken breast cubes in a single layer in a large skillet and cook, flipping occasionally, so that they brown lightly on all sides. When they are done, remove them from pan and set aside. If using chicken make sure the chicken is cooked through.
3- Add 2 tablespoons coconut oil to the same skillet and reduce heat to medium. Add onion, ginger, and Serrano chile cook until the onion is translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in garlic, masala, coriander and cumin sauté for 2 to 3 minutes to toast the spices.
4- Add chopped cilantro and spinach in batches small enough to fit in the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until all the spinach has been added and has wilted, 4 to 5 minutes more. Season to taste with salt.
5- Remove from heat and blend halfway either in blender or food processor (do NOT puree). Return the mixture to the same pot. Add a little water if necessary and simmer another 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the heat down to low, stir in yogurt a little at a time to keep it from curdling and simmer until thickened, another 1 to 2 minutes. Fold in tofu, paneer or chicken cubes and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until everything is warmed through.
Serve on its own or over rice.
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