Saturday, June 20, 2020

RECIPE: Sag-Palak Paneer with Senposai and Haloumi

When you order this dish in an Indian restaurant, it's usually made with spinach (palak).  I've read that it can also be made with half arugula or and mustard greens (sag), but those aren't available in our farm store until later in the season. 

Senposai, which was created by crossing leafy variety of wild turnip developed from Pak Choi, with regular head cabbage, is available now.  Senposai's large leaves are easy to wash, easy to cook and have a mild flavor. (

I decided to use them instead and was pleased with the result. Senposai doesn't release much water as it cooks, and the leaves are thicker than spinach, so I adjusted the recipe accordingly.

Our farm store has also just started selling Haloumi, which can (and should) be fried before eating, so I used that instead of the labor-intensive paneer.  Paneer is richer and softer, Haloumi is denser and - as a friend put it - squeeky!

Sag-Palak Paneer with Senposai and Haloumi
Serves 4-6


1/4 pound fresh paneer cheese or haloumi cut into 1/2" cubes
1 c. coconut oil to fry the cheese

1-2 hot green chiles cut into pieces
1/2" piece of fresh ginger
1/4 c. whey or water
1.5 t. ground coriander
1/2 t. ground turmeric
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. paprika
2 T. ghee
1 pound senposai or a combination of senposai and spinach, mustard greens and/or arugula
1/2 t. garam masala
1 t. salt
3 T. cream

Remove ribs from senposai.  Blanch the leaves in boiling water for 3-4 minutes until soft.  Drain in a colander.  Chop coarsely.  Set aside.

Place chilies, ginger and whey in a blender or food processor and process to a smooth puree.  Add coriander, turmeric, cumin and paprika and pulse to blend well.  Set aside.

Heat the ghee over medium heat.  Add spice mixture then pack in the greens.  Reduce heat slightly, cover and cook 4 minutes.  Add 1/4 c water, then cook another 4 minutes.

Using 2 forks turn the greens over so that the cooked leaves on the bottom change places with the ones on the top.  Add 1/4 c water, cover and cook another 8 minutes.

Puree the greens in a processor or blender and return them to the pan.

Add the garam masala, salt, and cream. Cover and cook 5 minutes.  Stir well.

While the greens are cooking, fill a very small (1 qt) sauce pan with 1 c. coconut oil and heat to medium.  Fry cheese cubes 10 at a time, stirring, until lightly browned.  Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Mound the greens on a platter, sprinkle the cheese cubes over the top, and serve!

Senposai Palak Paneer Haloumi Basmati Lamb curry on a white plate

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