Serves 8 people


For the Paneer

1 gallon whole milk
5 lemons, juiced
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 Tbsp salt
extra vinegar, if necessary

For the Saag

2-3 pounds spinach
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 medium onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp ginger, chopped
1-2 green chilies
1-2 roma tomato
1 Tbsp coriander, ground
1 Tbsp cumin, ground
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp garam masala, ground
1 Tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
whipping cream, optional

Special Equipment

wooden cutting boards
“c” clamps


For the Paneer

Pour the milk, salt and ground cumin into a large pot. Bring the milk to a simmer. Keep it there for about 5 minutes. Remove the simmered milk from the heat, and start to slowly stir in the lemon juice, about a tablespoonful at a time. The milk will begin to curdle. This is “curds and whey”. If it doesn’t curdle, add a tiny bit of vinegar.  Keep stirring until the curds are thick, and the whey is only slightly cloudy. Put some ice into the pot to cool down the curds and whey to a manageable temperature. Line a colander with a double layer of cheesecloth then strain off the whey, keeping the curds. Wrap them up, and squeeze the cloth to get the whey out. Open up the cloth and look at the curds. Taste, and if it needs a bit more salt, add some. Fold the curds up in the cloth, in a squarish block. Put the block on one cutting board, place the other cutting board on top, then balance the big pot full of cold water on top or use “c” clamps to keep them squeezed together.  After you have pressed out the whey remove the paneer from the cheesecloth and cut into large, bite-sized cubes.

For the Saag

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop the spinach into the boiling water and cook for 1-2 minutes. with a slotted spoon, remove the spinach from the water and transfer directly to a blender. Pour out as much liquid as you can before blending it to a puree.

Preheat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the oil and whole cumin seeds and cook for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Add the garlic, ginger and onions and saute for 5-10 minutes. Add the chilies and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Now add the ground spices and cook for 5 more minutes. Pour your blended spinach mixture into the sauteing mixture and stir until everything becomes homogenous. Cook this until the oil separates from the Saag. it should look like little droplet on top. Now add your homemade paneer cheese and cook until warmed through. Add heavy cream if desired. Season with salt and serve with warm Naan bread.

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