Saag Paneer - Soul Food
Food evokes memories the smell, the taste, the flavor. Few weeks back got some goodies from India, the moment I pop those treats I was transported instantly. Memories of grandparents, cousins, summer and vacations were involuntarily invoked. Though its been fifteen years since calling US my home still memories are as vivid as yesterday, the power of affection, love and care I guess. As my kids and I create and weave our memories I wonder what would they remember the most.
Few years back my husband and I took a mini vacation within our vacation in India, we toured THE vibrant Rajasthan, we went to Jaipur, Udaipur and Ranthambore National forest. One of our most indulgent trip ever. We stayed at Vanyavilas in Ranthambore and after a day on an open jeep safari trying to catch glimpses of the Tigers, we were exhausted. Vanyavilas is hands down the very best resort I have ever stayed, I was treated like royalty to a point that it got tad uncomfortable :). That night I remember we were treated to one of the most royal meals ever, ate scrumptious Rajasthani food. The food, the ambiance, the service stuck like a snapshot. After two days in the forest we returned to Jaipur to catch a flight back home, this was an over night journey by car. We were warned of robberies on the highway and were made cautious, now that was enough to keep both of us awake and both of us hardly blinked through out the drive. We both we hungry and yet were scared to stop on the highway, finally driver persuaded us and we decided to take a break at a well lit Punjabi dhaba. I guess it was fear combined with hunger we ate as thought it was a first meal after years, and what we were treated to was Saag Paneer and Makki da roti, dhaba food came as close to royal treat at Vanyavilas san the price.
Made Saag Paneer this weekend and all I could think about was our trip and the unreasonable fear we experienced.
Mustard greens/Saag is in season, love the beautiful color of the flowers. Today's recipe takes less than 15 minutes from finish to start. Mustard Greens/Saag is healthy and is rich in vitamin A and Vitamin K.
about 4 cups of chopped and cleaned mustard green
1 red onion
4-5 garlic pods chopped finely
about an inch of fresh ginger chopped finely
2-3 green chillies
1lb of Paneer cubed
1 cup of coriander
2 tbsp of Garam masala
2 tbsp of corn flour for thickening
tbsp of Tumeric
tbsp kasoori methi (dry fenugreek)
tbsp red chili powder
salt according to taste
1. Clean mustard green and dice onion finely.
2. Heat a pressure pan add 2 tbsp of oil, when oil gets warm add turmeric, garam masala, ginger,garlic,green chilles.
3. Saute for 30 secs or so and then add red chillies and chopped onion.
4. Saute till onions turn golden brown
5. Now add mustard green and salt and about two cups of water and pressure cook for about three whistles.
6. While greens are cooking, add a tbsp of oil in shallow pan and add cubed Paneer and saute for about a minute or two and keep aside.
7. Once pressure cooker cools down, open the lid and using your hand blender, grind the greens into a fine paste. Adjust for salt.
8. Add corn flour and mix well and allow to cook on slow
9.Now add Paneer and mix well.
10. Let Saag cook for about 5-6 minutes on slow flame.
Saag Paneer goes very well with roti or Jeera rice which I served last week.
As I said earlier food evokes memories and this brought some really special ones. Weekend is almost here, have a good one, it's going to be one busy one for us.