I really wanted this to be "saag paneer mac and cheese", but I can't conscientiously call it a mac and cheese. It just wasn't cheesy/creamy enough. Don't get me wrong, there was TONS of cheese in here! Just as much as most mac and cheeses I make, however paneer is not a very creamy or melty cheese, and more than half of it was fried and meant to stay in cube form. Despite not being proper mac and cheese, it still was proper delicious! Saag paneer is practically a pesto and begs to be paired with pasta.
The paneer all cubed up.
As I was chopping up the paneer, I was reminded of something... Couldn't put my finger on it though.
More than half of the cheese was cubed, then the rest was grated and mixed in for this sauce.
Kinda reminds me of cottage cheese now.
Cheese. Fried in BUTTER. Indian people know what's up.
Try not to eat too many of these. It's hard. Also, salt these after they come out of the pan. It may seem weird to salt cheese, but paneer is pretty bland.
I was a huge mess making this meal. Lately I have been a very organized cook! I think that writing for Tablespoon has caused me to be much more clean and organized, but today I was a disaster. Having a broken sink added to the chaos, but Sal and I fixed the sink(sort of) later that night and I was able to clean.
Ok, for the sauce, we now need to brown some onions and add the requisite curry ingredients. Ingredients for the powder are below.
Kill the heat and add the yogurt/cheese/milk mixture.
Normally in saag, the spinach is sauteed, but since we are baking this dish, I decided to leave it raw. I wanted it finely chopped, but not pureed so I started to do it by hand. (my food processor was dirty and the sink was broken, told you I was a mess!)
After it took me forever to chop one out of 3 bags of spinach, I moved the operation to a blender. It worked perfectly because there were some flecks and some pureed.
Finally adding in the cheese. It looks like hash browns!
Yum, so vibrant.
After baking, there were nice browned bits.
Very tasty! What do you guys think of my green on green on green photo spread? Terrible is the correct answer.
The spinach yogurt curry sauce went perfectly with the pasta. The chunks of fried cheese were a nice crunchy texture balance with the soft noodles.
Powder was a teaspoon each of whole cumin, coriander, black pepper, and black mustard. Half teaspoon of fenugreek and cardamom. About 3 cloves and a sliver of cinnamon. And about 12 dried red chiles with the seeds.
Mix 8 oz shredded paneer, cup of milk, and cup of greek yogurt.
Dice 2 onions
Paste up 5 cloves garlic and equal parts ginger
Finely chop or puree 3 lbs spinach
Cook 1lb pasta
Fy cubed cheese in half stick of butter with some olive oil to prevent browning
In the same pan add onions
Cook till browned
If you have asafoetida, add some!
Add the ginger/garlic paste, and curry powder
Cook two min, remove from heat, add milk/cheese mixture
Add this mix to the pasta along with spinach and fried cheese
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes and until browned on top