Good Eats (Kale Paneer)

{Good Eats #3}

Saag Paneer (w/ Kale) & Homemade Naan Bread

We love Indian food, and I do it justice fairly often. This was my first hand at Saag though. I didn’t have spinach, but thought that kale would substitute nicely. Although the texture would be different, the taste would still be divine.

I was a little nervous about Naan. I’d heard it just couldn’t be done without a Tandoori oven. (I think that’s what it’s called.) They SLAP it against the side of the super HOT pit. They took us back into the kitchen at our local Indian spot, Little Nepal (Go there. Yum.) and showed us the process. Way cool.

But with a little help from Joy of Cooking, I got a boost of confidence. Here you go:

For the Naan: Combine in a large bowl, 2 cups flour (I used a mixture of og white and wheat), 1/2 tsp of salt, 1 & 1/8 tsp active dry yeast. In another bowl, mix: 3/4 cup yogurt at room temp., 2 tbsp melted butter, 1 tsp to 1 tbsp water as needed. Add this to your flour mixture.

Mix by hand until a soft ball is formed. Knead for about 10 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic. Transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 to 2 hours. (It won’t double like bread. Don’t worry.)

Punch down your dough and then divide it into 4 balls. Cover and let rest while you prepare your Saag.

Folk Ways Farm

Saag Paneer: Make your cheese: Bring 4 cups whole milk to 185-190 degrees, or just before a gentle boiling point, stirring often so as not to scald your pot. Remove from the heat and add 3 tbsp lemon juice. Stir gently. Let stand 5 minutes. Pour through a fine cheese cloth and set over a bowl or hang to drain. (Save your whey for future baking) When it’s cool enough to handle, squeeze as much whey out as possible, then press flat on a plate and cover with another plate. Place some weight on the top and let stand for 20 minutes.

Prepare your kale. Separate the leaves from the stems of and chop leaves into small pieces. (Chop up the stems and give them to the chickens or compost bin) and emerge them in a bowl of cold water. Drain and then do it again. This is a great way to remove soil from all greens. Drain and set aside.

The Naan Preheat over to 450 degrees. Place your oven rack on the lowest setting and if you have a pizza stone, place that in the oven now. Roll out each ball into an oval shape. Melt 1-2 tbsp butter and rub onto the top of each flat piece. Place as many ovals onto the pizza stone as will fit without touching. Bake for 6 minutes, or just beginning to golden and puff. Remove and fold in half. Wrap the bread in a towel to keep warm until the Saag is done.

Back to the Cheese: Remove the weights and the plate and cut the cheese into 1/2 inch cubes. Heat 1/4 oil in a skillet and add 1 tsp of cumin seeds, partially crushed, stir lightly for about 15 seconds. Add the cheese and toss to coat. Shake the skillet every now and then until the cubes are golden brown. About 5 minutes or so. Remove the cheese and set aside. Add 1 medium onion, thinly sliced, to the pan. Stir until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced and stir constantly for 1 minute. Add your kale, a little at a time, until wilted, then add some more until you’ve gone through all of it. Cover until it is well wilted. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt. Cook, uncovered, until most of the water is evaporated. Fold in the fried cheese and serve hot over cooked brown rice. (I usually make 1 & 1/2 cups of dry rice to 3 cups water for this dish.) Don’t forget your Naan! Enjoy!

Folk Ways Farm

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