How to make the perfect saag paneer
It’s a classic vegetarian Indian restaurant dish that’s quick and easy to make. But do you like yours wet or dry? And is frozen spinach ever acceptable?
Choosing from a menu is never straightforward where I’m concerned – I’m always worried I’m going to make the wrong choice, and miss out on something I’ll never get the chance to try again. But as soon as I sink into the soft flock cushions favoured by British Indian restaurants of the old school, all such worries melt away – I know exactly what I’m going to have. Inevitably it’s a spicy lamb curry from the chef’s specials, with tarka dal and saag paneer, accompanied by a plain naan, ideally one the size of the napkin.
Now, I can make some pretty decent lamb curries, even if I sometimes have difficulty identifying one, and I’m a dab hand at dal, yet the simplest dish – fried spinach and fresh cheese – has proved a remarkably tough nut to crack. Nothing I’ve tried has come close to matching up to the garlicky, greasy greens served in the humblest of curry houses; nice, sure, but not the kind of dish you’d go back to like a woman obsessed. It seemed time for a more systematic approach – just how do they do it?
Now, if your interested… you can read all about the greens, the cheese, the spices and flavourings and the ‘how to’ on The Guardian.