Saag Paneer

Adapted from Saveur.


  • 8 cups milk
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tbsp ghee
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • ½ serrano pepper (seeds removed), chopped
  • ¼ cup water
  • 16 oz / 12 cups baby spinach
  • kosher salt
  • 12 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp cayenne


Line a colander with 8 layers of cheesecloth or 2 nested reusable nut milk bags and set it in the sink.

Heat the milk in a large stock pot over medium-high heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon to prevent it from scorching on the bottom.

When the milk comes to a full boil, stir in the lemon juice, then lower the heat to medium-low.

Cook without stirring just until large curds form, about 30 seconds.

Remove from the heat and set aside, without disturbing for 2 minutes, then pour the milk mixture into the colander.

Gather and tie the corners of cheesecloth together and gently squeeze out some of the excess liquid. Hang it from a large kitchen spoon suspended over a deep bowl.

Set aside at room temperature until the excess liquid has thoroughly drained from the cheese, about 1½ hours.

Transfer the sack to a plate, untie the cheesecloth, and loosely drape the corners over the cheese. Place a large heavy pot on top of the cheese, then set aside at room temperature to compress for 30 minutes more.

In the meantime, combine the garlic, ginger, serrano, and water in a blender and purée into a smooth paste.

Remove the pot and unwrap the cheese. Cut into ½-inch-by-1-inch pieces.

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the ghee over medium. Working in batches, add the cheese and fry until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cheese to a plate and set aside.

Return the skillet with ghee to the stove, and heat over medium-high. Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the spinach, salt to taste, and cook, stirring often, until the spinach wilts, about 1 minute.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring often, until the spinach is very soft, about 15 minutes.

Stir in the cream, garam masala, and cayenne. Add the cheese to the skillet, cover, and continue cooking until the liquid thickens and spinach is soft, about 15 minutes more.

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