Saag Paneer (Spinach with Cheese)
2.5cm (1in) cube fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
3–6 garlic cloves, peeled
½–1 fresh hot green chilli, sliced roughly
2 Tbls vegetable oil
150–200g (5–7oz) paneer
¼ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
675g (1½lb) spinach, washed, trimmed, and very finely chopped
4 Tbls heavy cream
Put the ginger, garlic and green chilli into the container of a blender or food processor along with 50ml (2fl oz) water. Blend until you have a smooth paste. You may need to push down with a rubber spatula once.
Heat the oil in a large, wide, preferably non-stick sauté pan over a medium heat. Put in all the pieces of paneer and fry them, turning them over gently with a slotted spatula, until they are golden brown on all sides. (This happens fairly quickly.) Remove the paneer with a slotted spoon and place on a plate in a single layer. Sprinkle the paneer quickly with 1/8 teaspoon salt, the garam masala and the cayenne pepper. Set aside.
Put the paste from the blender into the hot oil in your pan (be careful as it will splatter) and fry it, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds. Now add the spinach and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir the spinach around for 1 minute. Cover the pan, lower the heat, and let the spinach cook gently with the ginger-garlic paste for 15 minutes. There should be enough water clinging to the spinach leaves to cook them. If all the water evaporates, add 1-2 tablespoons and continue cooking.
Now add the paneer and cream, stir gently and bring to a simmer. Cover and continue cooking on low heat for another 10 minutes. Stir once or twice during this period.