Rach shares her recipe for the classic Indian side dish Saag Paneer (spiced spinach with cheese). She likes to serve this with her Indian-Style Onion-Marinated Steak.
- 1 tablespoon cumin seed, a palmful
- 1-2 cardamom pods
- 2 cloves
- 3 whole allspice berries
- 5-6 black peppercorns
- One 8-ounce brick paneer cheese, halved horizontally and cut into thin 1x½-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons ghee or butter
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped or grated
- 1 tablespoon grated or finely chopped fresh ginger root, or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon grated or finely chopped fresh turmeric root, or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 pound spinach, stemmed and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup whole milk yogurt
- 1 small lemon, juiced
- 3-4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
For the spice blend, toast seeds and grind in spice mill or substitute 2 tablespoons store-bought garam masala.
For the paneer, heat nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon ghee or melt butter and foam, then add cheese and brown on both sides, remove and reserve.
To assemble the Saag Paneer, heat remaining 1 tablespoon ghee in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat, add onions and cook 5 minutes, add garlic, ginger, and turmeric, and stir in about ½ cup water and let it absorb. Add spice blend and wilt in the spinach a few handfuls at a time. Add buttermilk and yogurt, reduce heat, and simmer to thicken 15 minutes. Add cheese and combine, add juice of 1 lemon, top with sesame and serve.