Category: Cheese
Rating: 3.72
Servings: 4


1 large onion
6 cloves garlic
1 oz fresh ginger
1 lb frozen spinach, thawed
1 cup plain yogurt
4 oz buttermilk
2 teaspoon red chili powder
2 teaspoon garam masala
1 cup half and half
6 oz paneer, a homemade cheese
1 salt to taste

Directions: How to Cook Saag Paneer

Grind the onion, garlic, and ginger into a fine paste.

In a medium saucepan, combine the paste, spinach, yogurt, buttermilk, chili powder, and garam masala. Simmer at medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes. Mash the ingredients with a potato masher. Add the half and half. Simmer until the mixture has a creamy consistency, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the cheese, simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Recipe: Shiva Indian Restaurant, 2514 Times Blvd, Houston Texas

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Prawns With Spinach And Indian Cheese

Recent comments and reviews for this recipe:

himdi writes:

What is the half and half?

Posted on 11 May 2008, 11:10 ET

cookie writes:

Half and half is a commercial product -- it is 1/2 whole milk and 1/2 heavy cream.

Posted on 22 May 2008, 16:54 ET

Shannon writes:

Does anyone have a recipe for Channa Saag? I have it a traditional Indian restaraunt, but I can't find it online for in any recipe books.

Posted on 02 Jun 2008, 11:24 ET

Harlan writes:

When it says "medium" saucepan, I'd amend that to large saucepan. I used a 3-quart, and this recipe just BARELY fits in there. Maybe it's me, but I consider a 3-quart fairly large, good thing I didn't go with the 2-quart.

Posted on 25 Jun 2008, 17:58 ET

Gwen writes:

Tried this for the first time a couple of weeks age...YUMMY, definately one of my favorites

Posted on 15 Oct 2008, 09:06 ET

Craig writes:

I love Shiva's and this dish at the restaurant is amazing. Where do you get the paneer? To whomever posted this, I'd like the recipe to Shiva's Chicken Tikka Masala too. We no longer live in Houston and miss the food terribly.

Posted on 02 Dec 2008, 16:31 ET

Melissa writes:

You can find paneer in the cheese section at any Whole Foods or most other natural foods groceries. Also, if you are lucky enough to have an Indian grocery store near you, they definitely carry it.

Posted on 05 Dec 2008, 23:14 ET

Steve writes:

Is there really no oil or ghee used in this recipe, or was frying the paste assumed?

Posted on 07 Dec 2008, 18:08 ET

Mary C writes:

Yes, I second the question: isn't there any ghee needed in this recipe? Thanks for your answer---

Posted on 09 Dec 2008, 15:01 ET

Jo B writes:

This is great! I also didn't know what half and half was so put more yoghurt in, and used ricotta instead of paneer. The poor mans saag paneer.

Yum scrum!

Posted on 02 Jan 2009, 14:18 ET

hari writes:

wonderfull receipes... utterly delicious. i was wondering dont we need to add tarka( fried onion , ginger tarka to it 0

Posted on 12 Feb 2009, 09:29 ET

Kelly Moore writes:

Please add more Shiva recipes! We love this restaurant and do not live in Houston anymore.

Posted on 17 Feb 2009, 12:24 ET

aflindst writes:

To make chana saag, just make saag, but use chana masala spices. You buy it premixed at Indian store or find recipe. Should be more red in color and less aromatic.

Posted on 27 Mar 2009, 14:48 ET

sirhin writes:

I was wondering if I could just substitute the Garam Masala with Curry Powder. I also hope the onion and garlic doesn't contribute much since I don't eat them, but ginger's good!

I love Saag Paneer, so thanks for the recipe!

Posted on 18 Apr 2009, 20:57 ET

sally writes:

Is it possible to buy the garam masala ready mix instead of making it yourself? My boyfriend and I are crazy of indian food...i'm making butter chicken for him tonight...we both love saag paneer, too.

thanks for the recipe!

Posted on 04 Jun 2009, 15:45 ET

CJ writes:

Yes, you can buy garam masala at most specialty or Indian food stores but, of course, they're all different.

Posted on 09 Jun 2009, 21:02 ET

DTC writes:

I found this recipe pretty bland, frankly. Also, I don't know what is meant by "grinding" onions and "mashing" spinach. Maybe this passes for Saag in Texas, but I've had at least a dozen Saag recipes that blow this one away.

Posted on 16 Jun 2009, 20:21 ET

Dav writes:

get a coffee grinder and grind whole seed spices for Indian food. get another for coffee. Don't mix the two! Use a blender, food processor or hand-held Boat motor as Emeril says, to make the garlic-ginger-onion paste. Caramelize for a sweeter tasting sauce. This means to brown it; stir constantly till dark golden brown. Recipe doesn't mention oil or ghee, but you should. If using a non stick pan perhaps two-three tablespoons of either. Hope this helps.

Posted on 22 Jun 2009, 23:38 ET

dav writes:

don't sub curry powder for garam masala. Curry powder is actually a mix of turmeric, cumin, coriander and other spices. garam masala is a blend of cumin seed, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, black peppercorns, fennel seed, and I've seen fenugreek seed as well. Black cumin seed is preferred. you could also use cardamon seed; not the pod! removing the pod is problematic. 2tsp Bcumin, 2tsp coriander seed, 2inch cinnamon stick, 1tsp fennel, 1tsp fenugreek, 10 peppercorns, 10 cloves, 5 cardamon seeds. grind it up in a coffee grinder that hasn't been used for coffee! This is a small batch. Using whole seed this way is more economical. You could roast them before grinding to bring out the flavor. small dry frying pan; no oil or water or liquid on med heat. roast til you start to smell the aroma; a few seconds. grind and use.

Posted on 25 Jun 2009, 01:24 ET

Alex writes:

Did anyone think this receipe was spicy hot? I can deal with some heat but 1 teaspoon of the chili powder may be too much. I'd go with half a teaspoon.

Posted on 13 Jul 2009, 20:23 ET

tobu writes:

Question: I've had saag paneer in many restaurants, and it always seems sweeter. I like this flavor. Is there anything I can do to add sweetness?

I've made this recipe several times. The best thing to do is put the whole thing in a food processor before you put the paneer in it; that way you don't have to "grind the onions to a paste".

Posted on 27 Jul 2009, 11:56 ET

Dav writes:

If you do it that way, its faster, but you're missing the point of Indian cooking; the blending and layering of spices and ingredients. If you take the time to make the paste, and then caramelize it, you'll have an underlying base for a sauce that will be sweet. The prep time is longer, but I think ultimately, you'll get better results. Don't answer the phone during the caramelization process! :)

Posted on 06 Aug 2009, 05:30 ET

Indu writes:

About Paneer, what kind od Paneer they use other then home made. I am curious to know. Your show is just amazing & very interesting.


Posted on 23 Sep 2009, 14:05 ET

Karina writes:

PLEASE - can someone help me? I followed this recipe to the letter - not only does it not taste anything like what I used to get at Shiva, it tastes like no Saag Paneer I've ever gotten in any restaurant. Restaurant Saags, while each a bit different from one another, have always been anywhere from really "good" to "outstanding". I have tried making 6 or 7 different Saag recipes at home - they all have the same general flavor - and NONE of them have been anything we care to eat, nor do they resemble any restaurant Saags I've ever had. WHAT IN THE WORLD AM I DOING WRONG?? Why can't I get a good-tasting homemade Saag?? Anyone, please help!!

Posted on 12 Oct 2009, 05:34 ET

Dav writes:

Karina, try what I suggested above. Cut back on the Chili powder, which I think is actually cayenne. 1/8 to 1 teaspoon, or omit it. Don't use "Chili powder". Otherwise, the ingredients are fine. It doesn't tell you about; oil or ghee, and that you need to caramelize the onion garlic ginger paste. This can take a while, but like I said, the sauce will be sweeter. I suggest ghee in this case. With a non stick pan, you only need about two Tablespoons; this is for the caramelization. I assume you know how to make or where to buy paneer. Its easy. Find on the net. Please try this method. Good luck :)

Posted on 13 Oct 2009, 02:53 ET

Dav writes:

Thaw and drain the spinach. Half'n'half needs to be shaken first, and I think buttermilk too.

Posted on 13 Oct 2009, 02:57 ET

Dav writes:

Eegad! Maybe I should read more thoroughly! The yogurt should be drained; pan, sieve, coffee filter. Put the filter in the sieve, sieve in the pan, yogurt in the filter, cover, put in fridge for an hour or overnight. I also think some spices are omitted. Garam Masala doesn't seem to be enough, and is usually added towards the end just before serving. Try 2 teaspoons of Cumin, 1 teaspoon of Coriander, 1 teaspoon of Turmeric, all added after caramelization, or when you add the spinach. Whew! I hope this helps. Please, any of you let me know here if this helped. Thanks.

Posted on 13 Oct 2009, 03:07 ET

leanne writes:

hi, i wanted to do a surprise meal for my mum and sisters and i have everything apart from the paneer cheese.Do i need that cheese or can i use something diffent?I live in spain and i cant find it anywhere. thanks

Posted on 19 Oct 2009, 09:47 ET

Dav writes:

To make paneer is easy. Half gallon of whole milk in a pan, bring to just a boil on medium heat. add juice of lemon or lime, or vinegar. Your choice. But add it a little at a time, just until it starts to curdle. You may not need all of the juice. I can't stress enough "a little at a time till it curdles". put cheese cloth in a sieve, and drain out the liquid, but not all of it. Place it in a bowl for an hour or so to let it cool. The reason you don't drain out all of the liquid, is because you want it to be firm, but spongey in texture. You can then cut into cubes and saute it to brown it a little, or just cut it up and use it in the recipe. Hope this helps. there is video on YouTube for this. It is always a bit tricky when trying a new recipe. Adding too much acid; lemon, lime or vinegar, will make it too lemony, limey, vinegary. Vinegar has the odor as well. Just a little at a time while stirring till it curdles is the trick.

Posted on 21 Oct 2009, 02:52 ET

amy writes:

Good recipe. I substituted yogurt and buttermilk for 1 14 oz can of coconut milk. I also added 2 teaspoons of powdered curry and an 1/8 tsp of cardamom. I also added an additional 10 oz. pkg of frozen spinach. serve over rice. yummy!

Posted on 06 Dec 2009, 20:12 ET

Karina writes:

Many thanks, Dav, for your kind suggestions. Will put them all to work and will try again. Appreciate everything you had to say. Many thanks!

Posted on 19 Dec 2009, 08:21 ET

Jade writes:

Not just over any rice. It must be basmati!
Thanks for the paneer recipe, Dav, it is just right.

Posted on 30 Mar 2010, 21:41 ET

anonymous writes:

great recipe thanks

Posted on 10 May 2010, 01:54 ET

Gwen writes:

Wonderful and tasty recipe. I have occasionally used pumpkin pie spice instead of garam masalla. Worked good for me. Thanks for the recipe and all these comments are wonderful too.

Posted on 12 May 2010, 05:59 ET

elise writes:

I found a saag paneer recipe that called for tomato sauce and no yogurt (in fact, it's on the stove right now) and add half and half & garam masala at the end. Seems ok, but not what I'm used to. I'm going up now to add some yogurt.

I made my own paneer & kneaded it with a little salt and flour to make it hold together better. I guess it's ok considering I didn't get a chance to refrigerate it cuz the BF's in a hurry! Whew : )

Posted on 08 Aug 2010, 21:45 ET

Ryan writes:

This came out FANTASTIC!! Great recipie. I didn't add half/half and instead used more buttermilk and yogurt. The best saag paneer I've ever made!


Posted on 20 Dec 2010, 01:20 ET

Abby writes:

i made this recipie but i forgot i was allergic to milk! my mom was not happy that i wasted those ingrediants

Posted on 19 Jan 2011, 21:33 ET

sherry c writes:

very good.really enjoyed it.

Posted on 17 Jun 2011, 12:42 ET

Dav writes:

Recipe says "Chili powder". I believe its supposed to be cayenne. Chili powder is a blend, best intended for Chili Con carne. Curry powder is also a blend. Should not be substituted for Garam Masala, which is also a blend. Palak Paneer and Saag Paneer are similar but different. They both use spinach, only Palak uses tomatoes. I submitted a method of straining the yogurt, but you can use Greek "strained yogurt" instead. I highly recommend using cayenne, to your taste of course, instead of chili powder. Garam masala is best if toasted first, as I suggested above, then ground. But good ones can be found in Indian groceries, gourmet stores, even in some of our domestic chains. If you strain the yogurt yourself, use the whey in place of vinegar or citric juice to curdle the cheese; it will have no after taste. Hope this helps.

Posted on 25 Feb 2013, 12:17 ET

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