You can use any type of cooking greens to make saag, and the types and ratio will give you different levels of sweetness. For this batch I used a mix of cabbage and spinach, which is my favorite blend, but I have also enjoyed saag made with chard, mustard greens, kale, and even arugula. Use whatever you like or that is in abundance. You can also adjust the level of heat and richness by adjusting the hot peppers and butter or oil. Some saag recipes call for as much as a half cup of butter or ghee, while other go spartan with a tablespoon. I like an in-between level. To veganize, use olive oil in place of the butter and use tofu in place of the paneer.
Easy Saag Paneer
3 tablespoons butter or ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 medium white onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, stem, ribs, and seeds removed
1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seed
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2-3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 medium head of cabbage, cored and chopped
10 ounces fresh spinach
1 cup water
1/2 cup plain yogurt (optional)
8 ounces cubed paneer or juustoa
In a large saucepan with a lid, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and jalapeno and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion starts to soften. Add in the cumin, coriander, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, turmeric, and salt, and cook for an additional minute, or until fragrant.
Add the cabbage, spinach, and water to the pot. Cover and cook over medium heat for five to ten minutes, or until the cabbage is tender. Remove from heat and stir in the yogurt, if using, or an additional half cup of water. Using a blender or an immersion blender, pulse until the mixture is a texture you enjoy–I like a little chunky vegetable matter left, but some people like this really smooth. Stir in the cubed cheese and sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro, if desired, and serve.
Thanks for reading,