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Saag Paneer
© Chris Court

Saag Paneer


For this delightful version of the classic Indian dish of spinach and cheese, try replacing paneer with halloumi, the salty, firm Greek cheese.


  1. 3 tablespoons canola oil
  2. 8 ounces halloumi cheese or paneer, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  3. 3/4 cup finely chopped white onion
  4. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  6. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  7. 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  8. 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  9. Two 10-ounce bags of leafy spinach, stemmed
  10. Kosher salt
  11. Freshly ground pepper
  12. 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  13. 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  14. Steamed basmati rice, for serving
  1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the cheese and cook over moderate heat, turning frequently, until golden on all sides, 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cheese to a plate.
  2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet along with the onion, garlic and ginger and cook over moderately low heat until the onion is softened, 5 minutes. Add the butter, garam masala and nutmeg; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the spinach in batches, stirring often, until the spinach wilts. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 cup of water, cover and simmer until the spinach is very tender, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cream, lemon juice and cheese and serve with rice.