Saag Paneer – Indian creamed spinach

My daughter, Anna, and I decided to give up meat this spring for Lent. Going meatless for a month and a half is not really that big of a deprivation, but it did challenge me to rethink my standard meat-and-two sides family dinners. Even though we have many meatless meals during a typical week, I quickly ran through my usual veggie dinner ideas. I was soon digging through my old vegetarian cookbooks looking for dinner inspiration.

A recent dinner out at Decatur’s newest Indian street food place, Chai Pani, gave me a needed push back to Indian food. Because large portions of their population do not eat meat, India has one of the most varied and flavorful meatless cuisines in the world. One of my all-time favorite Indian dishes is saag paneer, which is a traditional, mildly spiced, creamed spinach, served with fried chunks of paneer, an unaged, Indian farmer cheese. It’s very healthy AND my kids love it. I would call that a win-win.

Here is how I made it at home…

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