Saag Paneer with Basmati Rice, Naan & Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

Saag Paneer

with Basmati Rice, Naan & Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

50 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

A classic dish served in many regions of India, saag paneer features spiced, stewed greens and paneer, a type of firm cheese that holds up to heat. To achieve the dish's smooth texture, we’re finishing finely chopped sautéed spinach with a complex blend including ground fenugreek (a popular spice with a subtle bittersweet flavor) and Greek yogurt for added creaminess. We’re serving it all with raita, a classic condiment made with cucumber and yogurt (and a bit of mint), perfect for balancing the rich, spiced flavors with every bite.

Get Cooking
  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    780 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
tried-and-true
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tips & techniques
Cook the rice:
1 Cook the rice:

Preheat the oven to 475°F. In a small pot, combine the rice, a big pinch of salt and 1 1/3 cups of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook 14 to 16 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat and fluff the cooked rice with a fork.

Prepare the ingredients:
2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the rice cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Small dice the cheese. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Peel and roughly chop the ginger. Roughly chop the cilantro leaves and stems. Pick the mint leaves off the stems; discard the stems and roughly chop. Small dice the cucumber.

Cook & chop the spinach:
3 Cook & chop the spinach:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until wilted. Transfer to a strainer; hold or rest the strainer over a bowl. Using a spoon, press down on the cooked spinach to release as much liquid as possible; discard the liquid. Transfer to a cutting board and finely chop. Wipe out the pan.

Make the saag paneer:
4 Make the saag paneer:

In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the cheese; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown. (Be careful, as the cheese may pop as it cooks.) Add the garlic, ginger and spice blend. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the chopped spinach and half the yogurt; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and heated through. Turn off the heat and stir in the cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toast & cut the naan:
5 Toast & cut the naan:

While the saag paneer cooks, carefully place the naan directly onto the oven rack. Toast 2 to 4 minutes, or until slightly crispy and warmed through. Carefully remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, cut into quarters.

Make the cucumber-yogurt sauce & plate your dish:
6 Make the cucumber-yogurt sauce & plate your dish:

In a bowl, combine the cucumber, mint and remaining yogurt. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the cooked rice and saag paneer between 2 dishes. Serve with the toasted naan and cucumber-yogurt sauce on the side. Enjoy!

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Cook the rice:
1 Cook the rice:

Preheat the oven to 475°F. In a small pot, combine the rice, a big pinch of salt and 1 1/3 cups of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook 14 to 16 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat and fluff the cooked rice with a fork.

2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the rice cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Small dice the cheese. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Peel and roughly chop the ginger. Roughly chop the cilantro leaves and stems. Pick the mint leaves off the stems; discard the stems and roughly chop. Small dice the cucumber.

Cook & chop the spinach:
3 Cook & chop the spinach:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until wilted. Transfer to a strainer; hold or rest the strainer over a bowl. Using a spoon, press down on the cooked spinach to release as much liquid as possible; discard the liquid. Transfer to a cutting board and finely chop. Wipe out the pan.

4 Make the saag paneer:

In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the cheese; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown. (Be careful, as the cheese may pop as it cooks.) Add the garlic, ginger and spice blend. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the chopped spinach and half the yogurt; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and heated through. Turn off the heat and stir in the cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the saag paneer:
Toast & cut the naan:
5 Toast & cut the naan:

While the saag paneer cooks, carefully place the naan directly onto the oven rack. Toast 2 to 4 minutes, or until slightly crispy and warmed through. Carefully remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, cut into quarters.

6 Make the cucumber-yogurt sauce & plate your dish:

In a bowl, combine the cucumber, mint and remaining yogurt. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the cooked rice and saag paneer between 2 dishes. Serve with the toasted naan and cucumber-yogurt sauce on the side. Enjoy!

Make the cucumber-yogurt sauce & plate your dish:
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