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Jordan rgb edit and crop leon happy curries saag paneer copy
Steven Joyce

Sag paneer

A rich and creamy classic dish.

Serving: 2 as a main or 4 as a side


  • 500g spinach leaves, large stems removed, leaves roughly chopped
  • 50g frozen fenugreek leaves, defrosted (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
  • 250g paneer (a firm Indian curd cheese),
  • Cut into rough 2cm cubes, patted dry with kitchen paper
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • A pinch of cumin seeds
  • A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • A pinch of dried red chilli flakes (optional)
  • 3–4 tablespoons double cream
  • A handful of fresh coriander, roughly
  • Chopped (optional)
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste


  1. Wash the spinach, then tip the wet leaves into a large pan with a lid, set over a medium heat. Steam along with the fenugreek leaves, if using, for 4–5 minutes, until the spinach has just wilted (work in batches if necessary). Drain and cool in a colander set over the sink.
  2. Heat the ghee or oil in a large wide pan with a lid over a medium heat. When the ghee has melted, carefully add the paneer (it may splatter). Cook for just 1 minute or so on each side, then turn – you want it to be golden, but not dry. Use tongs to remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and add the onions to the pan, along with a pinch of salt. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring, until soft and barely browned.
  4. Add the garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric and cumin seeds and cook for 3–4 minutes, stirring often.
  5. Gently squeeze the excess water out of the cooled spinach (not too thoroughly, but it mustn’t be soggy) and add it, along with the cooked paneer, to the pan.
  6. Add the nutmeg, chilli flakes, if using, and 3 tablespoons of the cream and cook briefly, stirring until well combined.
  7. Remove from the heat and stir in the coriander leaves, if using, and squeeze over a little lemon juice.
  8. Taste and decide if you want to add more chilli flakes, cream, lemon or salt. Serve immediately.

Recipe extracted from LEON Happy Curries by Rebecca Seal and John Vincent (€19.53) published by Octopus. Photography by Steven Joyce.