Homemade Saag Paneer

Just a moment please...

Serves 4.
Prep Time
Total Time

Homemade soft cheese folded into a traditional spicy spinach mixture. Making homemade Saag Paneer is very doable and very delicious.



2 quarts (1/2 gallon) whole milk
2 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons salt

Spinach Sauce:

1 bunch (10 ounces) spinach, washed
1 bunch turnip or mustard greens, washed
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 inches fresh ginger, minced
1 jalapeno chile, diced
1 (14.5 ounce can) diced tomatoes
1/4 cup peanuts or cashews
1 cup water
1 cup buttermilk
Fresh cilantro (garnish)
Peanuts (garnish)
Rice, for serving
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Helpful Equipment

Blender cheese cloth


For the Cheese:
1)Line a colander with a few layers of cheesecloth. In a large pot, bring milk to a simmer. Stir in salt and buttermilk. Let sit for about two minutes.

2) Pour milk mixture through cheesecloth and let drain for 15 minutes. Pull edges of cheesecloth together and press out as much liquid as you can.

3) Wrap cheesecloth tightly in a ball and lay it on a few paper towels. Press it with a cutting board and some weight for 45 minutes.

4) Unwrap cheese and crumble or dice cheese. Let it air dry a bit while you make the other dish stuff.

For the spinach:
1) Wash spinach and turnip greens well and chop off any large stems. Then microwave on high for 3 minutes until they are wilted.

2) Chop 1/3 cup of both the spinach and greens and set them aside. Add the rest of the greens to a blender.

3) Add butter to a large skillet. When melted, add ground spices and cook for about 30 seconds over medium heat.

4) Add onions, garlic, ginger, and jalapeno along with a pinch of salt. Cook until the veggies start to brown slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and let cook until the mixture is pretty dry, another few minutes.

5) Transfer half of this onion mixture to the blender along with water and 1/4 cup peanuts or cashews. Blend until mostly smooth. Some chunks are fine.

6) Return blended sauce to skillet with the other half of the onion/tomato mixture (still chunky). Bring to a simmer over medium heat and stir in set-aside spinach and greens. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in buttermilk.

7) Gently fold in cheese cubes and cook for another 1-2 minutes just to heat everything.

8) Serve over rice or with flatbread with cilantro and peanuts.

Adapted from a Cook's Illustrated recipe.