Sort of saag paneer (or chana saag)

left: original artwork, right: the tea towel itself (creased, stained and used)
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Perhaps sacrilegious saag if compared to the creamy, buttery saag from the local takeaway - there's not much better than the saag paneer from Catford’s Curry Cottage, but this isn’t meant to be a replica. You can use baked or fried paneer, or replace this with a tin of chickpeas to make this dish vegan. Saag paneer is also delcious on toast the next day.

For 3-4 servings with bread or rice
30 minutes -an hour

  • In a big saucepan, fry off two sliced cloves of garlic, an onion and 2 green chillies (optional - we buy chillies in bulk and keep them in the freezer; they're easier to chop when frozen) in some kind of oil (coconut is probably best for this), before they start to brown mix in some spices; we'd go for a little turmeric, some Kashmiri chilli powder (or hot paprika), coriander seeds and garam masala because those are the ones that smell the nicest to me. This spice mix changes every time; use what you have! It’s worth adding a bit more of your favourite spice at this point, as the coconut milk you’ll add later will dull the taste of the spices
  • Add 8 pellets of chopped frozen spinach (this is probably about 350g - fresh or whole-leaf frozen spinach can be used but chopped frozen spinach makes the dish creamy) and a tin (400ml) of coconut milk or a sachet of coconut cream.
  • Cook this on a medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the spinach has cooked if you’re in a rush. If you have time, leave this to simmer with the pan covered for an hour on a low heat. Check for seasoning - this might need more salt than you'd think
  • Chop a block of paneer into cubes and bake at 180 on a tray for 15 minutes or until golden brown then add the cubes into the saag and cook for a few minutes. If you wanted to make this vegan, you can skip this step and add a tin of drained chickpeas straight to the spinach sauce)
  • Serve with a buttered paratha / roti / naan - something to mop up the sauce.