Karen's parents gave me a red Kitchenaid immersion blender for graduation. Amazing! I hadn't asked for one, and didn't even exactly know that I wanted one, but now that I've used it, I'm pretty delighted to have it.
I purchased paneer from the Chapel Hill Creamery lesbian cheese farmers on Wednesday, and Karen requested saag paneer. A perfect chance to test out the new blender! Last time I made a paneer dish and wanted a smooth sauce, I scooped it all out of a hot pan and into the food processor -- a decent method, but the immersion blender makes blending up hot foods mid-cooking process a breeze.
First, frying up the paneer:
1 large onion
6 cloves garlic
1 oz fresh ginger
1 lb frozen spinach, thawed (we used a bit more, about 20 oz)
1 cup plain yogurt (we used sour cream)
4 oz buttermilk
2 teaspoon red chili powder
2 teaspoon garam masala
1 cup half and half (we used 2% milk)
6 oz paneer, a homemade cheese
1 salt to taste
Grind the onion, garlic, and ginger into a fine paste.
In a medium saucepan, combine the paste, spinach, yogurt, buttermilk, chili powder, and garam masala. Simmer at medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes. Mash the ingredients with a potato masher.
Add the half and half. Simmer until the mixture has a creamy consistency, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the cheese, simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Paneer is always delicious. And the immersion blender made the sauce a great, smooth consistency. The recipe wasn't a spicy as I'd hoped -- I suppose I could have doused it with a splash of hot sauce or some cayenne -- perhaps this is the downside to using spice blends (like chili powder and garam masala) rather than making the blend from scratch. Nonetheless, a solid dish. Next time maybe I'll try Madhur Jaffrey's recipe in my Vegetarian Cooking from Around the World cookbook...