Longtime readers know that my dad is an avid gardener. I live a bit more than 200 miles from my parents, so I don’t get to take as much advantage of his garden as I’d like, but a few times a summer I head down there or they come up here. And I always get a few bags full of garden-fresh produce. It’s always more than the three of us can eat before it goes bad, but I try to make use of as much as possible.
Saag paneer (or palak paneer) is one of my favorite Indian dishes. Saag paneer is pretty ubiquitous in Indian restaurants, but it can vary widely from one restaurant to the next. What they (almost) all have in common is a base of chopped or pureed greens in a creamy, spice-laden sauce studded with pieces of paneer. There’s considerable variation in what makes the sauce creamy (cream vs butter vs yogurt), what spices are used (anything from “nothing but garlic and ginger” to “garam masala” to “just about every spice in your cabinet”), how much heat it has and even which greens are used (although spinach is by far the most common.)